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August 22, 2019

Dedicated channel on weather forecast, flood warning okayed


August 22, 2019

Islamabad : State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir on Wednesday announced that the prime minister had approved a proposal to launch a dedicated channel with the help of the information ministry to update the people about weather forecast and flood warning.

She told a presser here that her ministry along with information and water ministries, irrigation department, Met Office and National Disaster Management Authority would inform the people about natural calamities in advance to minimise damage to public life and property.

The minister said the prime minster also approved the project of her ministry to provide solar stoves to the people in northern areas to check the cutting of trees as firewood.

She said the government was determined to continue with the anti-plastic bag drive without succumbing to any pressure.

"No one is above the law," she said adding that a letter was written to all stakeholders for strict implementation of the government's move to ban polythene bags before the issuance of the relevant SRO.

The minister regretted the manhandling of the ministry's officials by the staff members of a food chain after they found them to be flouting the polythene bag ban.

She said the officials of ministry of climate change were not pursuing their personal interest but they were asked to implement the SRO without fear or favor.

The minister warned that the people challenging the government's writ over the ban would face dire consequences.

She said the drive to ban plastic bags was started in federal capital and it has been widely appreciated across Pakistan and turned out to be a countrywide campaign.

The minister said the Punjab government had shown an intent to implement the ban after cabinet's approval while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has already implemented the move.

She thanked Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal for extending their support showing an interest in implementing the move in their respective provinces.

"Five million bags are used annually in Pakistan which are not decomposed for years and this is a major cause behind choking of drainage," she said.

The minister said apart from international obligation, it is a responsibility of national to keep the environment clean.

She said 34 people died in Karachi due to the choking of the drainage system by plastic shopping bags after the recent rainfall.