ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Climate Change on Tuesday wrote a complaint to the secretary Ministry of Interior over manhandling of an official of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and removal of the board gate at trail 4 by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) staff.
The letter written by the Ministry of Climate Change said that the IWMB has reported today that the official vehicle bearing the registration number GF-502 was collecting natural fertilizer from MHNP at trail 4 in violation of section 21 of the IWMB (Protection, Conservation and Management) Ordinance 1979.
It said that the CDA officials have reportedly removed the fixed gate of IWMB from trail 4 to make forceful entry without any legal authorisation. Moreover, IWMB staff had also been harassed/pushed and abused by the CDA staff while performing their duties.
It said that a complaint in this regard has been forwarded to SHO PS Kohsar for registering FIR against the culprits. The letter said that it is therefore requested that the complaint submitted by the IWMB on above issues may be looked into and appropriate legal action may be taken against the officials involved in the matter.
Chairperson IWMB Rina Saeed Khan talking to The Nation said that the board is the legal custodian of the MHNP and following the Prime Minister’s directives it is protecting the MHNP.
She said that trail four was inaugurated by the IWMB and it is protecting its environment and natural habitat. Chairperson IWMB said that the CDA environment wing sent a trolly to excavate and take soil from the area of trail 04. She said that on being informed, the IWMB administration acted and stopped the CDA staff from damaging the area, which resulted in clashes and the civic body staff physically tortured one of the officials and broke the trail 04 gate as well.
“We asked them for a letter as they still need clearance from the IWMB board and instead they beat us up,” she said. Rina Saeed Khan said that the IWMB is also a government body notified by the PM and working to protect the MHNP.
“Meanwhile, CDA is a civic body working on developments in the same areas,” she said. The chairperson added that CDA is repeatedly creating hurdles in the work of IWMB.
On social media, the chairperson IWMB said, “CDA sent staff inside trail 4 to forcibly remove leaves and earth for use in their nurseries. This is against IWMB rules. You cannot remove leaves/plants from a national park. When we stopped them, they broke our gate! They have been bullying our staff for months.”
Officials at the Ministry of Climate Change said that CDA is planning a Rs5 billion project to “enhance greenery” of Margalla Hills National Park which is again illegal as they cannot do any interventions inside the national park without approval of IWMB.
Director Public Relations CDA Asif Raza Shah talking to The Nation said that the concerned official of the CDA has been transferred while facts will be determined later.
When asked about long-standing issues between CDA and IWMB, he responded that CDA has no issue with the IWMB, it has already handed over the management of the MHNP to the board. Earlier, in the previous month, the capital’s only Marghazar zoo assets were handed to the IWMB from the CDA.