Islamabad (28th February 2022): Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change met on Monday under the Chairpersonship of Senator Seemee Ezdi to take insight of the compliance of the recommendations made by the committee on Climate Change since its formation and to discuss the budgetary proposals for Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the financial year 2022-23.
The committee discussed at length the recommendations made by the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change since its formation. The committee was informed that in compliance of the recommendations of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, informed that the draft amendments in the Forest Act, 1927 by the Forestry , Wildlife & Fisheries Department, Government of the Punjab, has been approved by the Provincial Cabinet. The Chairman Committee sought a copy of the draft amendments.
Briefing on gradual progression from Euro-2 to Euro -5 fuels was also taken up. The committee was informed that 80,000 to 90,000 vehicles enter Islamabad on daily basis. The Committee was informed that Euro V is being complied in terms of import however in the current scenario the refineries present in Pakistan do not have the capacity to implement and they are working on Euro II. Pakistan meet High Speed Diesel (HSD)requirement through 60 pc local production and 40 pc import similarly, Pakistan meet (motor gasoline)MS requirement through 30pc local production and import of around 70pc. The committee was apprised that in order to fully switch to Euro-V fuels refineries a draft refining policy has been made prepared offering attractive fiscal packages to encourage refineries to upgrade and produce Euro-V fuels.
The committee expressed concerns on growing trend of fire in the Margalla Hills. The Chairperson IWMB and the CDA official informed the committee that meetings have been coordinated with the DG environment and wildlife management to devise a plan for the prevention of fire in the Margalla hills in the coming seasons. The CDA informed the committee that the fire prevention is to contain the spread of fire. The CDA official informed that further measures will be taken to prevent fire in the area, The CDA official told that the PC -1 is approved for the procurement of machinery equipment for prevention of fire. The official also apprised the committee that the fire prevention plan will be aided by the fire fighters from the local community and the rangers.
The chairperson IWMB informed the committee on the issue of littering at the Margalla Hills, Islamabad. It was informed that the littering issue can only be resolved through on spot fines. “Charges on the littering at present are done through the magistrate, the process makes it impossible to fine charges on time” stated Chairperson IWMB. The chairperson informed that the Nature and Wildlife Management Act has been drafted which will give powers to the rangers for on spot fine on littering.
The chairperson IWMB also informed the committee that notices are also being served to LA Montana and other restaurants in order to meet the objective of the National Park. The committee was also informed that in the light of the judgment of the high court no construction would be allowed in the National Park and it would solely serve the purpose of education and promotion of wild life. The committee was also informed that these hotels and restaurants are also a source of contaminating the water. The CDA official informed that sewerage treatment plants for non-operational for 10 years in I /9 sectors. The CDA officials also informed that a solar Panel has also been gifted to Pakistan by China since 10 years which is non-functional. The committee showed its grave concern over the non-functional solar plant and sought details over the matter.
The Ministry of Climate Change Presented the budgetary proposal of 26,423.328 Million for approved projects and 2,017.335 for unapproved projects for Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the financial year 2022-23. The Projects include the approved project of Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme-Phase-I upscalling of Green Pakistan Programme (revised) , Capacity Building on Water Quality Monitoring and SDG 6 and Climate Resilient Urban Human Settlement Unit and an unapproved project of establishment Wash Strategic Programme Unit Performance Based WASH Development at MoCC.
The meeting was attended by Senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Taj Haider, Dr. Muhammad Humayun Mohmand, Kamran Michael, Khalida Ateeb, Umer Farooq and Senator Abida Muhammad Azeem. Senior officials from the Ministry of Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other attached departments were also in attendance.