Pollution in Murree: Hill station polluting capital’s water
ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change admitted before the Supreme Court that new housing colonies along the Murree Expressway are polluting water reservoirs, rendering the contents unfit for human consumption.
Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood submitted a report on behalf of the ministry and informed the bench that untreated sewage and other waste from Murree is draining into Simly Lake — a source of drinking water for Islamabad.
“Sections 11 and 12, read with section 2 and the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) notified under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, prevent the discharge or emission of untreated effluents. Besides, no development project can be undertaken without compliance with section12 as well as IEE and EIA regulations. The area in question is already declared environmentally sensitive, where constructional activities are banned by the Government of Punjab.”
The reply also states that Pakistan is obligated to report on the status of forests in a transparent manner to various international conventions and UN agencies.
The report also says that EPA–Punjab has already notified a ban on any developmental activities in the Murree area and along Murree Expressway unless environmental approval is granted.
The bench is hearing a contempt plea filed by residents of Murree, seeking directions to the provincial government authorities on account of violations of a July 31, 2007 judgment, where the court ordered an end to the Rs60 billion New Murree City Project, terming it “a manmade disaster for the entire Murree forest range”.