Rawal Lake at risk? Senators show concerns over solid waste, pollution | Pakistan Today

Rawal Lake at risk? Senators show concerns over solid waste, pollution

  • Senate body to invite CDA, MCI officials; to call meeting on EPA, universal conventions, treaties

ISLAMABAD: Senate’s Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday expressed concerns over the solid waste and sewerage being drained into the Rawal Lake, polluting this artificial reservoir that provides the water needs for the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The lake is located within an isolated section of the village Malpur, Bani Gala and Margalla Hills National Park. Korang River, the outlet stream of the Rawal Dam, along with some other small streams coming from the Margalla Hills have been set to form this reservoir.

The committee met here at the Parliament Lodges under Senator Sitara Ayaz. Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Faiz Muhammad, Senator Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Senator Faisal Javed also attended the meeting.

Ministry of Climate Change Secretary Khizer Hayat and the director general of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) briefed the committee on EPA and its working and performance. Senator Sitara Ayaz said that the Rawal Dam which supplies reservoir of clean drinking water, the toxic water being contaminating water in the lake.

The committee decided to invite officials of the Capital Development Authority and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) in its next meeting to discuss the issue. The committee said that there must be a mechanism to keep the drinking water reservoir clean of any such solid waste.

The committee said that the Rawal Lake Park waste also being thrown in the lake which further contaminating the water. EPA Director General Farzana Altaf Shah said that the agency was facing a shortage of human resources and funds to overcome the environmental issues in the federal capital.

She said that the EPA had fixed and mobile automatic air quality monitoring stations and at the moment all the analyzers of fixed and mobile air quality monitoring stations have been repaired and calibrated and were fully functional. She said that EPA was capable of monitoring all the major parametres of air quality by mobilizing its mobile air quality station in Islamabad as well as any part of the country.

She said that 12 environmental protection orders (EPO) issued to different polluters including CDA, developers and industrial units under Section 16 (12) of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997. She said that 54 notices issued to the offenders and polluters, violators of the act.

Farzana Shah said that directions were also issued to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) for installations of incinerator and compliance of the Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005. The committee also decided to call separate meetings on the matters related to the EPA and the international conventions, treaties and agreements.

Secretary Khizer Hayat said that the Ministry of Climate Change was making efforts to achieve the set targets as per the international conventions and treaties. However, he said that there was a need to develop working coordination with the provinces for achieving the set targets.

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