Islamabad-The efforts of the concerned departments in the capital to eliminate polythene from its streets have gone in vain as plastic is still lying in every nook and corner. 

This is because these polythene bags are still being sold in the markets and shops of Islamabad.

DG Environmental Protection Agency Islamabad Farzana Altaf when contacted by this correspondent explained that more than 70 per cent of waste and litter contains plastic in the federal city of Islamabad. 

She stressed that the administration of Islamabad started the initiative of removing plastic from Islamabad with great confidence and hype. However, the hype lasted for a month or two and now plastic is used and seen as much as it was before. The official stated that the administration has also stopped charging fines which has given plastic sellers and buyers leverage. 

When asked if EPA was doing anything for the cause, Farzana Altaf stated that they have launched a number of campaigns against the use of plastic. Answering the question, DG EPA Islamabad said that they have asked administration Islamabad multiple times to take action but they excuse the cause reasoning it with the corona episode. She wondered what corona has to do with banning plastic. 

She further insisted that elimination of plastic is need of the hour as it carries a great danger to our environment and eco-system. Farzana Altaf said that it was time to take this matter seriously before it gets out of our hand. 

The sudden ignorance of administration of Islamabad towards this environmental cause took this correspondent to talk to Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Mr Hamza Shafqaat who was also seen upfront against the use of plastic in Islamabad. 

When The Nation questioned DC Islamabad about the reason behind this never ending break which eroded all the efforts done before to eliminate plastic, Hamza Shafqaat stated that the campaign became slow as the city was already fighting corona but measures are being taken which will be implemented in near future. 

About imposition of fines, Hamza Shafqaat said that the authorities were imposing fines on every shop their eye catches. However, the official also admitted the on-going use of plastic and explained that it was because the shops were keeping plastic in stash. But he said that now Assistant Commissioners of the capital were doing tours of shops on regular basis as one shop is sealed today and 18 violations are also recorded and charged. 

Explaining further, DC Islamabad disclosed that Special Tiger Force of Prime Minister Imran Khan was also being engaged with the initiative of plastic removal from Islamabad with the rest of the concerned departments. 

The initiative was initially started in accordance with PAK EPA, Ministry of Climate Change and Islamabad Administration to enhance the environmental conditions of the city. 

The sanitation department of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad was also seen active earlier. Head Sanitary Department Sardar Zimri was seen on streets of Islamabad sectors doing campaigns and cleaning plastic off the streets. 

Therefore, The Nation also contacted Mayor Islamabad Anser Sheikh to gain his view regarding plastic removal. When questioned, Anser Sheikh stated that his department had helped whenever needed and required. He told that the administration of Islamabad was dealing this issue from the start and whenever they needed help, MCI would be ready in joining hands for the betterment of environment as it did before.