Senate body holds CDA responsible for encroachments

Seeks detailed report; senators to take part in ‘nullahs-cleaning drive’

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Shahraz Rathor

Islamabad

The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change said on Monday that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) was responsible for rampant encroachments and environmental pollution in the federal capital.

The Senate committee also sought a detailed report from the civic body on all encroachments in the federal capital.

The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Sitara Ayaz. During the meeting, the committee members expressed their annoyance over the absence of Islamabad mayor and other high officials from the meeting.

While briefing the committee, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency director general said that permission has been taken only for the construction of the building of the Islamabad High Court.

Upon this, Adviser to Prime Minister Malik Ameen Aslam said that a tug of war for powers was going on between the CDA and the city government.

“The ongoing war between the departments is badly impacting the developmental work of the federal capital,” he said.

The committee also sought a report regarding the construction of new plazas in greenbelts of sectors 1-10 and F-11.

The meeting was informed said that nearly 58,000 saplings have been planted in Islamabad as part of the “Plant for Pakistan” drive.

Meanwhile, the committee also decided to kick off a “cleaning of nullahs” drive in federal capital in collaboration with the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI).

Sitara Ayaz expressed displeasure over MCI’s poor response on the committee’s recommendation for cleaning nullahs.

She said that despite clear directives, the MCI has failed to conduct the cleaning of these garbage dumped nullahs which was creating health hazards for the people.

The MCI officials said that they did not have enough staff and the required machinery to carry out the cleaning drive in a short time. The committee directed the MCI officials to start a cleaning campaign, which will also be joined by the committee members.

The committee also directed the MCI to devise a mechanism for cleaning all nullahs.

Earlier, the adviser to the premier briefed the committee about the proposed “Climate Change Authority” which will be established by the Ministry of Climate Change.

The committee was informed that the Climate Change Act, 2017 provided for the establishment of the Climate Change Council, the Climate Change Fund and the Climate Change Authority.

Amin also informed the committee that the “Plant for Pakistan” drive was successfully carried out nationwide. He said that more than 2 million saplings were planted across the country. The World Economic Forum has also acknowledged the campaign through a short documentary, he said.

The committee also announced that it would also hold its meeting in Quetta to discuss issues related to environment and climate change.

The meeting was informed that no crushing plants were functioning in any area of the Islamabad Capital Territory while crushing plants at Margalla Hills had been closed permanently.

Senators Faisal Javed, Mushahid Hussain, Senator Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Gul Bushra and Samina also Saeed attended the meeting. Additional input agencies

 

 

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