ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wednesday said the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) was working to get the control of Islamabad Marghzar Zoo, which was at present in a shambles due to mismanagement.
Millions of rupees had been released by the government for taking care of animals caged at the zoo, but the same were spent somewhere else, she said while speaking at the second meeting of National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Climate Change. Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Munaza Hassan chaired the meeting.
Zartaj Gul said the zoo itself generated thousands of rupees as number of people visited it daily. The ministry could manage the financial matters of zoo from its own resources, she added.
“We want to use the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) for eco-tourism. The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) staff is capable and educated. They are efficiently working to control poaching and hunting in the national park despite limited human resource and funds,” she said.
Zartaj regretted that an IWMB ranger was shot dead in the national park for putting up resistance to hunters.
Joint Secretary MoCC Muhammad Suleman Khan briefed the committee that the IWMB had the mandate to look after the wildlife in Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).
However, its staff was unable to cover the entire MHNP, which sprawled over 16000 hectares of land, he added.
The IWM’s structure needed augmentation and the work in that regard was underway, however, funds were required for the purpose, he said.
He said the MHNP’s land was the property of the Forest Department of the Government of Punjab and its lease, which was issued through the Capital Development Authority, had expired in 1991. The MoCC was working to get the lease directly from the Punjab Forest Department as it had attained in the case of 725 acres land of Bani Gala botanical garden, he added.
The ministry officials gave a detailed briefing on the ongoing Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) projects, which included the construction of Boundary Wall of Zoo-cum-botanical Garden, establishment of Geomatic Centre for Climate Change, Green Pakistan Programme – Revival of Forestry Resources in Pakistan, Green Pakistan Programme – Revival of Wildlife Resources in Pakistan , Strengthening Zoological Survey of Pakistan undertaking immediate inventory of endangered wildlife species and habitats across Pakistan, Climate Resilient Urban Human Settlements Unit, Establishment of Pakistan WASH Strategic Planning & Coordination (Facilitating Achievements of SDG (6.1 and 6.2).