Saturday June 03, 2023

New amendments likely to end conflict among govt departments

By Our Correspondent
March 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The federal government through an upcoming legislation wants to end conflict among the government agencies regarding issues related to protected Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).

According to the details, the government had taken notice of the situation some time back when the civic agency and the relevant board (legal custodian of the national park) developed differences and made contradictory claims over control and administration of the national park.

The civic agency has so far set up over 30 pickets inside MHNP and its 600 employees are currently working to control forest fires and keep vigil over the timber mafia. It also holds the relevant equipment and machinery like fire tenders to respond to any untoward incident in the forest areas.

On the other hand, the IWMB has established a team of dedicated people who have been working tirelessly to protect national park but they lack powers required to carry out their work. Even if they identify any one violating rules of IWMB they cannot take any kind of action against him and only refer the case to the police.

Now it appears that the civic agency that has all the administrative powers, work force and required equipment and machinery to protect forest areas falling in the national park will get the major role after new legislation. The IWMB that possesses technical knowledge and skills will act as an advisory board and help formulate policies for protection of the national park.

The protection and preservation of natural environment in the national park is a common cause and everyone wants to come forward and play his/her role in this regard. But some segments alleged that IWMB during the Imran-led government used to invite only government representatives at important events related to environment and often avoided to extend any such invitation to people belonging to the opposition parties.

When contacted, an official has revealed that “The climate change ministry is fully aware about new amendments in the Islamabad Wildlife Ordinance. The amendments aim at removing conflict and confusion about issues related to the national park and establishing a mechanism that can effectively yield the desired results.”