LAHORE: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change Wednesday was informed that illegal crushing plants established amid alleged consent of the authorities concerned was damaging the scenic environment and greenery near Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) Khan Pur area.
Member National Assembly (MNA) Murtaza Javed Abbasi on his point of order pertaining to illegal crushing plants established in Khan Pur area appeared before the Standing Committee chaired by MNA Syed Mustafa Mahmud.
Abbasi told that there were 12 crushing plants being established where three of them were fully functional and rest was in the making. “Despite massive blasting and crushing in the region and direct pollution done in the Khan Pur dam, which is one of the main sources of water supply to the federal capital, no action has been taken by relevant departments,” he added.
He alleged that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Environmental Protection Department Punjab had issued no objection certificated and excluded the archeological zone from the National Park which was lying in the vicinity of crushing plants.
He quoted the survey conducted by an American non-governmental organization that had reported sound stroke issues among the local masses. “The crushing plant owner is an Afghan national and also has various influential people involved in the matter that hindered any punitive action against them,” he said.
The Chair directed the EPA and EPD officials to come up prepared and submit a detailed response on the issue and clearly indicate action taken against culprits in the past. He also recommended the Committee to direct Federal Investigation Agency to probe the matter and submit an investigative report over the matter.
MNA Shahida Rehmani and Romina Khurshid Alam also endorsed the concerns of MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi and underscored serious concerns over negligent response of the quarters concerned.
MNA Romina Alam also protested on reprimanding explanation letter issued to DG EPA Farzana Altaf Shah for remaining absent in the previous meeting, where the DG EPA was abroad for her treatment of facial paralysis.
The members of the committee follow suited her in the protest and condemned the act as against the human rights of an individual. MNA Shaista Pervaiz also protested over lethargic attitude of quarters concerned over serious environmental issues particularly pollution in Rawal Lake and demanded a strong action in this regard.
Responding to MNA Shaista Rehmani’s query pertaining to electronic waste management (e-waste) in the country, Secretary Ministry of Climate Change Naheed Shah Durrani told the Committee that there was proper mapping required through an international consultant to gauge the volume of e-waste dumped in the country since past two decades.
“We have developed proper TORs or terms of reference for the consultant to hold the survey and are also approaching international agencies in this regard,” she told.