ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar on Tuesday called upon the citizens to adopt environment-friendly behaviour to make natural streams in the capital free of contamination.
They said the Rose and Jasmine Garden and F-9 Park were being polluted by two filthy nullahs.
The two streams, originating near the Margalla Hills, become filthy before reaching the two parks on their journey to Korang River, giving the parks an ugly look and causing foul smell in the area.
The seminar, ‘Consultative meeting for resource mobilisation to rehabilitate PARC-CDA bioremediation orchard at Rose and Jasmine Garden’, was organised by the National Institute of Bioremediation (NIB) and the Potohar Organisation of Development Advocacy (PODA).
The environmentalists lamented that all seasonal streams in Islamabad had been polluted.
NIB Director Yousuf Riaz said it was unfortunate that all natural streams in the city had been converted into filthy nullahs.
Experts ask citizens to adopt environment-friendly behaviour to make natural streams clean
A couple of years ago, NIB, which is a subsidiary of the National Agriculture and Research Council (NARC), launched a project at the Rose and Jasmine Garden in collaboration with the CDA to treat the polluted nullah water.
The project, which was inaugurated by President Mamnoon Hussain, could not be sustained after six months of its inception as the CDA did not pay any heed to it.
Under the project, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi were to be used to remove or neutralise the sewage in the nullah passing through the Rose and Jasmine Garden so that the treated water could be utilised for plantation.
“Within six months we had to close down operation as the CDA did not cooperate with us,” Mr Riaz told Dawn.
He said NIB’s plan to install another plant in the F-9 Park could not be implemented without the cooperation of the CDA. He said the plant installed in Rose and Jasmine Garden was also supposed to generate three kilowatts of electricity.
Director General Pak-EPA Dr Farzana Altaf asked the academia to ensure a complete ban on the use of plastic shopping bags on the campuses.
“Everyone has to play their role to protect the environment. Today the university teachers should pledge that they would ensure the ban on plastic bags. The step will leave a very good impact,” she said.
Another environmentalist, Dr Romana Anjum, said there was a need for focusing on behavioral changes.
“We have to look into the root cause, 70pc of litter could be domestically compost,” said Dr Ameer Haider Malik.
A working group, comprising university teachers and environmentalists, was formed which would help NIB to execute its abandoned project in the Rose and Jasmine Garden besides supporting NIB to clean a stream near the Trail-V of Margalla Hills.
It was also decided that PODA would play its role in the generation of funds for the project.
Speaking to Dawn, former CDA member environment Mustafain Kazmi said it was the duty of the CDA to maintain the project. He said after his retirement, no heed was paid to the project by the civic agency.
Public parks in the capital were devolved to the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) after the formation of the local government.
Director General Environment Dr Sulman Sheikh said the MCI was ready to extend support to NIB to restore the plant.
“Actually, we have no direct role in this project as its installation, maintenance etc., were the responsibility of NIB,” he said.
An official of the CDA told Dawn that there were 14 streams - 10 seasonal and four regular - and all of them were contaminated.
“The condition of the seasonal streams passing through the city is worst as all these have become filthy nullahs because of negligence of the CDA,” said the officer.
Published in Dawn February 8th, 2017