Taking serious notice of Capital Development Authority (CDA)’s poor performance regarding establishment of environment friendly dumping sites and providing clean drinking water to citizens, the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change on Tuesday directed the civic agency to take some practical steps.
During a meeting, Climate Change Minister Rana Muhammad Farooq Saeed Khan revealed that due to CDA’s negligence, most of the citizens of the federal capital drank contaminated water and lacked adequate safe sanitation facilities.
The minister expressed his strong resentment over the poor maintenance of the public drinking water filtration plants in the city, installed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
He directed CDA to take all-out measures to improve oversight and maintenance of these filtration plants as these were a blessing for thousands of the residents in the city, particularly in the hot summer days when most of the city faces a severe shortage.
“Most of the city still drinks contaminated water and has to face inadequate safe sanitation facilities,” the minister revealed.
In the meeting, Committee Chairman Senator Dr Saeeda Iqbal also slammed CDA’s poor performance regarding the establishment of environment-friendly dumping sites.
“It is a matter of grave concern that there were no dumping sites in Islambad and other parts of the country. Lack of model dumping sites shows the apathy of the government authorities towards such a serious health and environmental issue,” Dr Saeeda Iqbal said.
She asked the representatives of CDA at the committee meeting to ensure provision of clean drinking water, safe sanitation facilities at all public hospitals in Islamabad and its vicinity.
Dr Iqbal advised the CDA representatives to collaborate with the education department to educate and sensitise the public through mass awareness programmes regarding the importance and observance of cleanliness and safe sanitation as a key to a healthy life.
Absence of dust bins at public places, markets, bazaars and parks does not give a feel-good impression and raises questions regarding the role of CDA and its relevant wings responsible for cleanliness in the city, he highlighted.
“However, it is equally important that dust bins inscribed with public cleanliness are installed at all public places, particularly public parks and weekly markets. This will help motivate play a major part in the proper management of garbage or waste,” Dr Saeeda Iqbal underlined.
Meanwhile, CDA Landfill Project Director Sajjad Zaidi said that a landfill site had been developed in I-12 sector, where waste would be dumped in a scientific manner.
“Besides, efforts are underway to develop landfill sites in other parts of the city as well,” he added.
Responding to complaints regarding non-provision of clean drinking water to domestic consumers in the city, CDA Engineering Member Sanaullah Aman said that locals in the city were getting clean drinking water by a dint of filtration plants installed at source points, such as Simly, Kanpur and Rawal dams.
But Dr Saeeda Iqbal said that slum areas were totally being ignored as far as clean water, safe sanitation facilities were concerned and urged the CDA’s Sanaullah Aman to ensure that these areas also get unhampered access to these basic amenities.
Earlier Climate Change Secretary Syed Muhammad Ali Gardezi also briefed the chairman and members of the Senate body on climate change regarding ministry’s role in phasing out the use of plastic bags and their replacement with biodegradable bags.
The secretary told the committee that a law had already been passed in this regard and it would be enforced from April 1, under which manufacturing, sale and use of plastic bags would be completely banned.
Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Muhammad Daud Khan Achakzai, Senator Baz Muhammad Khan also spoke on this occasion.
The meeting was also attended by the representatives of National Disaster Management Authority, who briefed the Senate Committee regarding post-flood rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes being undertaken in the flood-hit areas.