MINGORA: After the success of a campaign launched to discourage use of polythene bags and sensitise the people about the environmental hazards of the product, the district administration expanded the scope of the drive to other parts of Mingora city of Swat valley.
The campaign was initially launched in Mingora, which is one of the tourist favourite destinations and has been facing severe environmental issues over the last few years. The local dwellers and tourists come to see the natural beauty and enjoy the pleasant weather used polythene bags to carry their belongings and other items of daily use, particularly food stuff. They dump the bags in streets, river and other scenic places which not only causing environmental issues, spoiling the natural beauty but also causing outbreak of various diseases and affecting the biodiversity as well.
The district administration in collaboration with the Water and Sanitation Company (WSSC) had launched the drive to discourage the use of polythene bags in the city.
The campaign continued with the basic objectives to provide a better and clean environment to the residents of Mingora city and to all those visiting the valley. Keeping in view the success of the initiative in Mingora and positive response of the locals, the administration now extended the campaign to other surrounding localities.
“Polythene bags are a major contributor to pollution of water channels, rivers and chocking of the city drainage. The administration requires the support and cooperation of the people and other stakeholders to make the campaign a successes,” Swat Assistant Commissioner, Shahab Khan, told The News.
He said the steps were being taken to provide alternative to citizens for deposal of solid waste, particularly bakeries, hotels, stores and other food outlets. In the campaign the WSSC is also distributing free biodegradable bags among the locals with a motive to promote a new trend of using environmental friendly carry bags.
The traders welcomed the campaign and assured full support to the district government in this regard. A trader Abdul Rahim said they would help the administration to make the city clean and pollution free. He said the initiative would help attract maximum number of tourists to the scenic valley and promote tourism.
Chief Executive Officer of WSSC Shaida Mohammad said plastic bags were not only affecting the environment but also defaced the naturally beauty. He said Mingora produced about 350 tons of solid waste on a daily basis which mostly consisted of plastic bags.
The official said the newly established water and sanitation services company had been given the task to make the city clean, adding that this campaign would help address the environmental issues in the city.