The annual development budget for environment has been decreased significantly from Rs190 million to Rs50 million.
According to budget documents, no new scheme has been announced; thus the amount will be spent on ongoing projects. These include the establishment of an air quality monitoring system in the province, upgrade of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in Multan, assessment of pollution level in Hudiara Drain and the establishment of a climate change cell at the Environment Protection Department (EPD).
EPD Deputy Director Naseemur Rehman Shah said the department had already been working on the establishment of a climate change cell although it was yet to be made operational.
Shah said the allocation was sufficient. “The sector includes Wildlife, Health and Industry Departments. All of these have development budgets.”
EPD Director Farooq Hameed Shiekh said the EPA was a regulatory body looking into various areas to ensure that they were in compliance with environmental laws. He said the department’s working was spread across various departments and deals with monitoring instead of implementing development projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2015.
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