ISLAMABAD: Environmentalists have voiced concerns over the removal of boundary pillars of the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) in order to make way for the construction of a mega E-11 Interchange.
They have demanded that authorities protect the national park while carrying out development projects in the capital city, highlighting that a playground and a green cover are also set to be removed at the same location. The environmentalists suggested that had the authorities created a plan for an underpass, these green areas could have been saved.
A report compiled by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) states that all road and development projects are being carried out in line with the Islamabad Master Plan approved by the federal cabinet. It further claims that green covers have been removed only from those areas that are earmarked for the construction of roads. However, when trees are removed, ten times more trees are planted to enhance the green cover in the city.
The civic agency has recently acquired machinery to shift trees from one location to another, a process that is useful in most cases but can sometimes face technical challenges. An official stated that “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed to complete all development projects in the shortest possible time. We are taking extreme care of the natural environment and also strictly following the Islamabad Master Plan while carrying out development projects.”
It is important to note that the MHNP is yet to be fully demarcated, leading to confusion about its original vicinity. Sometimes environmentalists mistakenly consider some areas as part of the national park. A survey is currently underway for its demarcation, and when it is completed, this issue will be resolved.