Expansion of Islamabad termed ‘environmentally unsustainable’

The Federal Ministry of Climate Change observed that the expansion of the federal capital is ‘environmentally unsustainable’ and showed serious concerns over the development that is making the green city climatically inflexible.

Federal Minister for Climate Change Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan, while chairing the 2nd Progress Review Meeting on ‘Implementation of Climate Change Policy,’ said that the haphazard growth of the city would only expose its infrastructure and dwellers to the climate change-induced natural disasters. “We seriously need to check this trend of the federal capital’s growth and make it more climate-resilient so as to avoid future dangers due to climate change,” he said.

He said that it is a matter of grave concern that major cities are growing unplanned and fast becoming unclean and unmanageable due to unchecked urbanisation and population influx from rural areas.

The minister also took serious notice of the cleanliness, garbage misstatement, mounting pollution, violation of building codes, poor or inadequate availability of safe water and sanitation issues in the capital.

He said letting hill-torrents’ water go untapped is unaffordable for the city, which is reeling under mounting water shortages, particularly during summer season.

He asked the CDA chairman and the officials concerned to draw up viable and sustainable plans and take all-out measures for harvesting the rainwater that goes untapped.

CDA Chairman Farkhand Iqbal, on the occasion, informed the minister that lack of funds is a major problem, which is hurting performance of the development authority.

He also informed the meeting that plans are also underway to install solar-powered tube wells at the water reservoirs around the city through which water is provided to the city and adjoining areas. “Electricity breakdowns, particularly during summer months, are nagging problems, which cause problems in supplying water to the residents of the city unhampered. However, these solar-powered tube wells will be of great help in ensuring smooth supply of water even during peak summer days”, he said. He said that a five-year agreement was signed with an organization based in Belgium for waste-to-energy project in the city at Kurri near Chak Shahzad. “The agreement is still intact and work on it can be initiated if the government provides the required funds,” the CDA chairman said.

The federal climate change minister assured his full support for the project and said he would talk to the prime minister about it and play his role for release of the funds for this purpose.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-133115-Expansion-of-Islamabad-termed-environmentally-unsustainable