Flood warning system, LNG terminal under scanner
ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change urged the government to release the funds required for the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) to upgrade and install early warning systems (EWS) in the country.
The Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change met on Tuesday with Senator Mir Muhammad Yousaf Badini in the chair.
The committee continued discussions on the issue raised by Senator Taj Haider on his behalf and on behalf of Sherry Rehman and Senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja regarding the claimed construction of an LNG Terminal on Bundal Island near Karachi.
The committee was largely in the favour of a proposal that Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) office should be brought under the umbrella of the Climate Change Ministry.
Rehman expressed reservations that the LNG terminal would threaten the ecology of Korangi Creek, adding that development activities should be carried out in an environment-friendly and sustainable manner.
Haider said the Gawadar LNG terminal must be connected with the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline and suggested that the country should purchased gas from all exporters in the Persian Gulf region instead of relying only on Iran and Saudi Arabia. He suggested considering the scope for an undersea gas line from Oman to Pakistan.
Rehman said all projects must be launched after consultation with indigenous communities and that they must be given priority in terms of development in the areas.
Climate Change Secretary Abu Ahmed Akif recalled a visit to coastal Sindh when the seawater had turned black due to pollution and local authorities seemed unconcerned with protecting marine life. He said that there was confusion about control of coastal areas, adding that a unified system was needed to control water pollution.
Haider said the Coastal Development Authority was formed to check marine issues in holistic manner. He said Sindh Government had launched a Rs100 billion project to stop polluted water from flowing into the Arabian sea. Under the project, he said two purification plants would be installed to treat 300 million gallons of polluted water before it is released into the sea.
PMD Director General Dr Ghulam Rasul said the gap in early warning technology hampers disaster preparedness.
He said that PMD had sent a proposal of Rs19 billion to the PM, explaining that the funds would pay for 21 radars to be installed around the country as the current system is obsolete.