Islamabad: Islamabad generates 1000 tons of solid waste every day without any adequate system to dispose it off, said Secretary of Ministry of Climate Change Hassan Nasir Jamy. He revealed the fact during an address to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Wednesday. However, a waste disposal plant will soon be installed in the capital to address the issue and produce fuel for the industry, he added.
ICCI had arranged an awareness session for the business community on Clean and Green Pakistan, which was attended by Secretary Climate Change and ICT Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat.
Mr Hassan Nasir told the business community that to prop up climate action in Pakistan, the ministry is to launch urban forestry campaigns in Islamabad and Lahore. He said that the PTI-led government has vowed to plant 10 billion trees in the country in its tenure; however, the housing societies of Islamabad have planted only 0.6 million trees. It is important that the business community owns the initiative and helps the government achieve its target. Particularly, the industrial and commercial regions of the capital city should be the prime focus of the tree plantation campaigns, he urged.
The Deputy Commissioner said that areas and types of plants have already been identified, and will be shared with the business community for a more effective approach towards the greater cause. He said that 0.4 million trees have so far been planted in the sectoral Islamabad, and if the business community comes forward, the numbers could considerably increase.
While talking about environmental pollution in Islamabad, the Deputy Commissioner stated that Pakistan is consuming 55 billion plastic bags per year, which poses a serious threat to the environment. The government has planned to ban the use of plastic shopping bags in a phase-wise manner in the entire country. As a pilot project, the ban on plastic bags in Islamabad has already been notified and will take effect from 14 August. He urged the business community to produce substitutes for such plastic bags and play a vital role in achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of Clean and Green Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Ahmad Hassan Mughal said that fines should not be imposed on business community until substitutes of plastic bags are produced. He agreed with the deputy commissioner that the problem of plastic bags should be done with in a gradual manner. He further stated that ICCI is already making concerted efforts for tree plantation in collaboration with relevant organisations.