ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has warned that failure to develop a sustainable environmental management plan can worsen the water crisis in the federal capital and has directed the government for form a commission over the issue, a local media outlet reported on Monday.
The three member bench comprising of Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani noted that “It is an undeniable fact that unregulated human activities such as illegal construction, urbanisation and violation of the Master Plan [of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT)] have serious consequences which inevitably leads to irreversible environmental degradation and climatic changes”.
Both Rawal Lake and Simly Lake, which are sources of drinking water, are receiving untreated sewage from surrounding areas while unregulated urban sprawl are causing environmental degradation and affecting the ability to manage climate change.
“Climatic changes are expected to have a wide-ranging impact on Pakistan, affecting agricultural productivity, water availability and increased the frequency of extreme climatic events,” the court observed.
The court noted that environmental degradation was shaving off 9 per cent of Pakistan’s GDP.
The bench observed that laws and regulations regarding environment are not implemented properly and that it is now necessary to review the city’s master plan.
“We direct the federal government to forthwith take steps of constituting a commission, inter alia, of professional experts, preferably of international repute, in the field of town planning, environmental management and finance,” the order read with the federal government being directed to complete the proceedings within a period of six months.