ISLAMABAD: Government has retreated from the August 14 deadline to ban single-use plastic bags in the federal capital.
“A campaign will be started in Islamabad in the next 10 days to implement the ban on plastic bags,” Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change (MoCC) Malik Amin Aslam said replying to a question by The Express Tribune during a press conference on Friday.
The MoCC had set about on Quixotic drive to make Islamabad plastic-free declaring August 14 to be the day from freedom from plastic.
However, the day came and passed and nothing happened.
The government had even announced that after the ban on plastic bags if a violation is made by a manufacturer, importer or wholesaler, penalty will be Rs100,000 for first time, Rs200,000 for second time and Rs500,000 for more than two violations.
However, it failed to implement the ban on given deadline.
Aslam told the media that plastic bags ban in the federal capital and said shopkeepers and polythene bags sellers would be fined heavy on violation.
“Polythene bags are a curse as they have choked 80 per cent of the drains in Karachi which is the main cause of urban flooding in the country’s biggest metropolis. There is a complete ban on plastic bags in the federal capital whereas cotton bags as alternatives have been introduced which will be environment friendly as well as a symbol of cleanliness and economic for household use.”
Each one plant two
Meanwhile speaking at the press conference Asalm sent the nation on another wild goose chase telling every person to plant two trees at different locations.
Pakistan faced threat of desertification, he said explaining 70% of the country could turn into a dust bowl if more and more trees were not planted.
He said on this year’s Plant for Pakistan Day each individual will plant one tree for Kashmir and another for Pakistan with the slogan ‘Har Bashar Do Shajar’ (every person to plant two trees).
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision is clean and green Pakistan where every individual would be encouraged to plant one tree for Pakistan and the other for Kashmir to show solidarity with the Kashmiri brethren.
“This monsoon plantation is part of 10 Billion Tree Tsunami (10BTT) which is our flagship project and we have planted a billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”
Amin said 10BTT was Rs125 billion worth project where the government had identified seven new sites for plantation across the country under this project.
PM Imran would be in the field on this Plant for Pakistan Day to be marked on August 18. “If Pakistan did nothing to mitigate climate change risks in the region then 70 per cent of the country’s area would reduce to desert. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s forest cover has increased to six per cent,” he said.
Amin said due to PM Imran Khan’s leadership international donors have given non-refundable grants for Clean Green Pakistan project where Rs24 billion had been given for five different projects which was non-refundable.
He noted while sharing the future development projects of the country that electric vehicles would be introduced in the country which would decrease the harmful smoke and gaseous emissions of automobiles. It would also put a dent in the fossil fuels import bill of the country, he added.
By 2030, Aslam said, 30 per cent of all vehicles in Pakistan will be electric powered.
Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said an electric vehicle policy has been formulated to give a new direction to the transport sector.
Amin Aslam said 30 per cent of the vehicles will go electric by 2030 under this policy.
The special assistant said that a special economic zone will be established where electric rickshaws, cars and buses will be manufactured. This will also create immense job opportunities for our youth.
He said the government is focused on making Pakistan an exporter of electric vehicles within a period of five years. A vehicle examination system is also being introduced in the transport sector to check the condition of vehicles, he said.
The adviser while discussing Kashmir situation said that Modi was the Hitler of 21st century and the world had envisioned the dark side of India.
Modi’s black face has been exposed to the world by India’s elimination of Kashmir’s special status. It was a matter of hope that the Kashmir issue would be resolved, now Kashmir would be free and India would be fragmented.
The Kashmir issue has revived after five decades where the Occupied Kashmir would soon get freedom and Indian state would fall into pieces.
“The Two Nation Theory has become clear before the world and it is for sure that every sacrifice will be rendered for the Occupied Kashmir’s Freedom,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2019.