Monday April 22, 2024

‘Recharge Pakistan’ project to kick start next month

December 30, 2021

Islamabad Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Wednesday said the establishment of wetlands under 'Recharge Pakistan' project would be initiated at three sites during the initial phase by January, 2022.

Addressing a ceremony here, he said the funding for Recharge Pakistan project under Ramsar Convention was approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approval done and the government had also sanctioned the fund for the initiative.

Amin said: “The Ramsar Convention authorities held a study along the banks of River Indus and identified 15 sites feasible to develop wetlands to store floodwater wasted every year by the country.”

He added that the country only had the capacity to store 9 per cent of the floodwater, where the rest was dumped exclusively into the Arabian Sea. He added that it would not only help conserve floodwater rather would recharge the depleted aquifer or underground water reserve.

“It will also help build potential ecotourism sites and employment opportunities for the local masses,” Amin said. To a query, he said, “Our government decided and gave contracts for master plans of all mega cities to limit their expansion as there were no proper master plans of various urban centres except Islamabad.” He added that the master plans would be finalised this year which would help control proper policy and decision making to control unbridled urbanisation.

He added that in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab agricultural land could not be approved for developing housing society which would be only possible after the provincial cabinet’s approval of Punjab.

“Our government has given approval for vertical expansion in cities apart from airway or route of aircraft to contain horizontal spread,” Amin said. Responding another query, he said a new barrage was being prepared which was named Sindh Barrage at Kotri which would help restore the declined water flow in Indus Delta.

He further said that the Ministry of Climate Change have sought provinces to prepare zoning of areas with massive traffic congestion.

They were also asked to give recommendations to disincentivise heavy number of cars and promote electric vehicles (EVs) under the Policy approved, he added.