ISLAMABAD-The federal capital’s environmental issues are finally being addressed, thanks to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In the backdrop of a recent hearing in Supreme Court regarding the environmental issues of Islamabad, the Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Anser and CDA chairman Amir Ahmad Ali finally met to give the residents of the capital a healthy environment to live.

According to details, right after when the Supreme Court summoned the mayor of Islamabad and the chairman of CDA in environmental pollution case, a meeting was held secretively between the two respective officials.

The discussion was held on two aspects, clearance of the nullahs of the capital as well as identification of sites for establishment of public toilets. In the meeting between the two, it was also decided to outsource public toilets in order to improve their standard and condition.

A proper plan is being prepared for the implementation of both clearance of nullahs and the establishment of public toilets on different sites of Islamabad which have also been identified already. The plan to mitigate the effects of pollution is expected to be presented within a week whereas its execution is likely to start from this month.

It is likely that a comprehensive plan will be presented between a week and within this month, work is likely to start. Public toilets will also be outsourced.

Lately, the Supreme Court summoned the Mayor Municipal Corporation Islamabad and Chairman Capital Development Authority to appear before the court in environmental pollution case on Thursday.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard the suo-moto notice case regarding environmental pollution in Islamabad.

After the apex court of Islamabad summoned the mayor and CDA chairman for the hearing of a pollution case of the capital, the MCI and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) finally seem to be coping with each other to resolve the issues of the capital.

Exclusively talking with The Nation, the mayor also confessed that owing to the meeting after the hearing of the apex court, MCI and CDA have joined hands to resolve the issue of nullahs and other related problems occurring in Islamabad. He briefed that funds were being raised by the CDA for the cleaning of nullahs and for public toilets, MCI had recognised the sites which needed public toilet facility and had given it to CDA for acceptance and provision of budget. The mayor said that they were waiting for the CDA respond so that they could start the development of public washrooms.

“We forwarded the details of selected sites where washrooms are needed to the CDA department for their approval and funds. As soon as we receive the money, the work will get started.”

According to earlier reports, 1,500 tons of effluents generated by the pharmaceutical industry, flour mills, oil and ghee mills, marble factories and plastic extrusion mills were being thrown into the Leh nullah every day, heavily polluting underground water.

Around 500 factories in the I-9 and I-10 industrial estates were causing water and air pollution in the area like the steel melting furnaces, re-rolling mills, flour mills, oil and ghee mills, marble cutting and polishing units and metal working and engineering units etc.

In Islamabad, there are a number of streams running down from the Margalla Hills which used to have clear water and fish before the construction of the capital commenced. But now, all of these streams are full of garbage and raw sewerage. So far, Islamabad has only one sewerage treatment plant located in the I-9 sector.

Talking with The Nation, Farzana Altaf Director General of Islamabad Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that while the CDA Chairman and Mayor Islamabad were called for hearing in Islamabad High Court, the judge gave the respective departments a period of three months to resolve the issues of nullah streams and public washrooms of the capital.

The lady who was present in the IHC also stated that the chairman CDA told the judge that they will start the work regarding the nullahs and public washrooms on an immediate basis.

Altaf stressed that due to dirty nullahs of Islamabad, rivers like Korang were also getting polluted and the marine life was getting affected by the dirty water. She explained that it was the luck of Islamabad that it was blessed with the rainfall that often greets the capital and help clean the streams and nullahs.

“If the issues of nullahs are not resolved, the capital’s environment might get affected as the rains would not last forever,” said EPA DG.