ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Climate Change on Tuesday expressed dismay over the Ministry of Climate Change’s lack of response on the queries raised by parliamentarians about steps taken to prevent environmental pollution.
“If you are not prepared to answer our questions about steps taken by the ministry to monitor pollution in the federal capital then why we are you here? There is no need to call a meeting in the future as well,” the members said during the committee’s meeting which was chaired by Malik Muhammd Uzair Khan.
The members asked the ministry to take steps to discourage the use of plastic bags and to arrange alternatives for the owners of plastic bag factories.
Tahira Aurangzeb said that big stores in the federal capital were using cloth-made bags and efforts should be made to discourage the usage of plastic bags at utility stores across the country.
Shaista Pervaiz said that usage of plastic bags should be stopped phase-wise along with the arrangement of alternatives for the owners of plastic bag factories.
The committee asked the ministry for a comprehensive briefing on air pollution in the federal capital and the steps taken for its prevention.
The committee recommended the enhancement of the allocation of funds according to their requirements in the terms of projects, including the construction of Mangi Dam in Quetta and two projects for the construction of 300 small dams in Qila Abdullah.
The committee also recommended the establishment of a separate trans-border institute over water resources to strengthen the mandate and capacity building of Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW).
The committee also recommended increasing coordination among the provinces for measures and regulations to improve the groundwater level.
An official of the Ministry of Climate Change informed the committee that the ministry was regularly coordinating with provincial wildlife departments for the preservation of the most endangered species of Pakistan, including Markhor.
The official of the ministry of Water Resources informed the committee that the per capita availability of water in Pakistan in 1951 was approximately 5260m against the population of approximately 34 million. In early 1980s each Pakistani was receiving 2200m of water to meet their annual demand and the water availability had been continuously decreasing since then, he added.
He said that in 2010, 1066m per capita water was available to a population of more than 167.72 million and in 2025 this gap would increase even more.