Tuesday November 28, 2023

IWMB announces heavy fines, jail term for littering at Margallas

By Our Correspondent
May 16, 2021

Islamabad : The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has finally announced that those who would be found involved in spreading litter and violating rules introduced to protect and preserve the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) may face heavy fines and one-month jail term.

According to the notification issued through the Islamabad District Administration “Smoking, bonfires, BBQs, tree cutting, littering and encroachments in the area of Margalla hills is a crime. You can be arrested for a month and fine can be imposed through summary trial.”

The IWMB chairperson and the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad held a discussion at a picnic point in Margalla hills before Eid in which they maintained that they would take joint measures to safeguard MHNP against littering and it would also include imposition of heavy fines on public littering,” it said.

The MHNP is a protected area and the existing laws state that the visitors may visit the park at the same time, without causing pollution and destruction to the natural environment.

As part of the efforts to protect natural environment the Ministry of Climate Change announced a complete ban on plastic bags in the capital city on August 14, 2019. The complete implementation of this order is still an issue that needs attention of the concerned authorities.

It is pertinent to mention here that the environment ministry in Thailand has asked park wardens to collect the litter and mail it back to those visitors who drop them in national parks. It comes with a letter that says: "We collected your garbage in a cardboard box and sent it to your home. This should be a lesson to you, to never again throw away waste anywhere."

Imran Joya, a resident of Islamabad, said “As more visitors pay visit to the Margalla hills some of them leave behind atrocious amounts of trash, much of which can easily be avoided with a little effort on their part.”

He said “Imposition of fines on littering is a common practice all over the world and we should also implement it to protect and preserve our parks, forests and green areas.”

Meanwhile, the dignitaries enthusiastically participated in the cleanliness campaign in the MHNP during Eid days.

Canada’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour who participated in the cleanliness campaign on second day of Eid stated in his message “Happy to volunteer in the Margalla hills with diplomatic colleagues. These hills are a precious resource for Islamabad: happy do our part to help!”

Senator Faisal Javed Khan who also participated in the campaign said “Honored to be part of cleanup campaign on Eid. Our country is our home we need to keep it clean. Hats off to all the IWMB staff and volunteers for their efforts during these holidays.”