Prayer leaders should talk about cleanliness in their sermons, senators say

Updated November 19, 2019

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The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday asked the Islamabad chief commissioner to involve prayer leaders of the capital city in sensitising the community about cleanliness.  — APP/File
The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday asked the Islamabad chief commissioner to involve prayer leaders of the capital city in sensitising the community about cleanliness. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Monday asked the Islamabad chief commissioner to involve prayer leaders of the capital city in sensitising the community about cleanliness.

The committee, which met with Senator Sitara Ayaz in the chair, discussed littering and garbage issues being faced by the Islamabad residents.

Senator Mohmmad Ali Khan Saif said besides taking other steps for cleanliness in the capital city, prayers leaders of all mosques should be requested by the district administration to make the cleanliness issue part of their Friday sermon.

“Every Friday, at least two minutes should be given to the cleanliness,” Senator Saif said, whose suggestion was endorsed by other senators as well.

Chief Commissioner and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed said he would play his role in engaging the prayer leaders in this regard.

The committee was given briefing by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) regarding cleanliness, disposal of waste, garbage and industrial waste, etc.

Sites in G-7, I-9 finalised to build apartments for katchi abadi dwellers, CDA tells Senate committee

Director Sanitation Sardar Khan Zimri said his directorate was unable to collect garbage from entire Islamabad for want of staff and funding.

However, he said the MCI would call tenders within a couple of weeks to outsource garbage collection for entire Islamabad.

Interestingly, when the committee was discussing the issue of cleanliness and garbage, dozens of sanitation workers were protesting outside the National Press Club, demanding their salaries of last a couple of months.

He, however, told the committee that funds had been arranged from the CDA to pay salaries.

“Today, funds for sanitation workers have been approved,” he told the committee.

The MCI had outsourced the garbage collection in urban areas but failed to pay to the contractors on time that resulted into the delay of salaries of sanitation workers.

Earlier, the commissioner while agreeing with the suggestion of Senator Faisal Javed to launch a designated mobile App for cleanliness said he would take steps in this regard.

The committee also discussed the upkeep of Faisal Mosque, which is also a tourists’ attraction.

Director General Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Farzana Altaf Shah also showed her concerns over trash littering markets.

She said most of the shopkeepers opened their shops at 11am when the sanitation workers had already done their job, and the trash the shopkeepers threw in the market remained unattended till the evening or next morning.

Earlier, the committee was given a briefing by the CDA chairman about the civic agency’s plan for shifting katchi abadis of Islamabad.

He said a few sites such in G-7 and I-9 had been finalised where slum dwellers from F-6/2 and F-7/4 would be shifted.

He said on the prime minister’s direction the CDA had finalised proper designs of the sites where ground-plus three storey buildings with community halls and parks would be constructed to accommodate the dwellers of the two slums.

“Accommodating the slum dwellers is a social issue, we want to provide decent housing units to them,” the CDA chairman said.

He told the committee that in the next couple of days, the CDA would hand over the sites to Naya Pakistan Housing Authority for starting construction.

The committee appreciated the CDA’s work for its plan to provide standards living to the slum dwellers.

Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2019