IWMB, volunteers lift 2,000kg trash amid Trail-2 cleanup

ISLAMABAD:The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and volunteers on Thursday lifted around 2,000 kilogrammes of trash in100 bags from 20 kilogrammes radius during cleanup at Trail-2 and Damn-e-Koh view point.

The IWMB in its community awareness and mobilization efforts had engaged the local masses to realize their responsibility to keep the trails of Margalla Hills National Park free from plastic pollution.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson IWMB Rina Saeed Khan said, “my waste my responsibility” was IWMB’s motto which it was imparting to the citizens of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad visiting the National Park.

She said the IWMB staff was extensively engaged in ensuring clean and scenic trails of the Margalla Hills National Park where anti-littering measures were strictly implemented on the trails.

She urged the masses to recognize their shared responsibility of keeping the natural clean and scenic and avoid throwing their plastic waste recklessly on the trails.

“It is equally harmful for both humans and wildlife where the latter bear serious consequences after feeding on that plastic waste,” she added.

Addressing the ceremony Senior Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain thanked the volunteers and civil society for joining the cleanup campaign on the call of IWMB.

He said the National Park was a very rare natural habitat lying close to a federal capital which the residents of twin cities were using for exercise, spending leisure time, recreation and tourism.

However, some irresponsible tourists visiting national park were creating pollution and throwing their plastic waste into the natural environ particularly plastic bags.

The government had imposed a strict ban against single use polythene bags and had initiated effective enforcement campaign in the nook and corner of the Capital, he added.

Hussain said the ban was first implemented in August, 2019 that came to a halt after the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic.

The drive, he said was revived after massive stakeholder negotiations with business community, traders associations and alternate bags manufacturers.

“This time an individual using plastic bags will be fined Rs 5,000 on the spot. People should comply with the ban and create awareness on the bam in their social circles, workplaces, educational institutions and at homes so that plastic bags use is avoided for good,” he added.

Tassaduq Bashir Malik from Friends of Islamabad forum also participated the cleanup campaign as volunteer and said it was a civil society respnsbility to transfer clean and green trails of Margalla Hills National Park to its coming generations. “We have to take it’s ownership and play our role to manage our waste properly and avoid polluting natural habitat,” he added.

The participants were also given reusable eco-friendly bags and t-shirts as a token of thanks and appreciation for joining the cleanup campaign.