ISLAMABAD: A hotline has been established for the citizens of Islamabad to report environmental violations.
“Pakistan is among the top 10 countries of the world listed to be environmentally vulnerable and has experienced intense weather aberrations with floods costing us $15 billion in losses,” said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed while addressing the second public hearing on environment convened by him at the Parliament House and attended by Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Dr Saeeda Iqbal, Senator Hidayatullah, MNA Maryam Aurangzeb and representatives of civil society and media as well.
The convener along with other members of the hearing lauded CDA’s “Green and Clean Islamabad” initiative as being timely and the need of the hour. The members also noted that the critical nature of the issue which translates in to food and water security in the long run and committed full support on environmental initiatives. Bringing to light practical measures for environmental protection in the capital, it was announced that an environmental hotline is available to report environmental violations to CDA on the number 1334.
“Any citizen of Islamabad can report environmental violations witnessed by them by dialling the hotline at any time of the day and the CDA will take action within 24 hours,” Senator Mushahid Hussain stated. Addressing the acute parking crisis in the city, he called for specific parking garages to be allotted in every commercial areas, given major expansions in the form of new plazas and malls. “Not only this, but there should also be parking areas, pathways and washrooms for physically challenged people,” the senator added.
Furthermore, a complete elimination of plastic bags would be an integral part of the Green and Clean campaign on which the government, private sector and public will join hands. Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed obtained a deadline of June 30 from the CDA for implementation of its solid waste management plan for the city, which produces 550 to 600 tonnes of waste every day with no permanent disposal system in place. With reference to the first public hearing, the CDA informed that all stone crushers will be shut down with the assistance of Rawalpindi administration and ICT.
Senator Mushahid appreciated this and subsequently commissioned Sustainable Development Policy Institute with task of preparing compliance report on the 16 stone crushers. The public hearing drew great enthusiastic participation from the civil society and common citizens of Islamabad, particularly the leader of the Green Movement Islamabad, Christina Afridi and Dr Dushka. Many complaints and violations were reported by these participants which were taken up on a discussion with the CDA and the ministry.
The next public hearing has been scheduled for February 25, which will follow up on the issues cited.
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