Encroachments threaten environment on Korang River

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ISLAMABAD: Lodging strong protest over the encroachments in Korang River bed, the citizens have appealed the authorities to stop indiscriminate illegal constructions that pose serious threat to environment and potable water availability in Rawal Dam.


“The citizens and relevant stakeholders alleged that there are numerous residential and commercial constructions underway in Korang River Bed and Rawal Lake catchments area near Shahpur, Mauza Phulgaran but the authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to this ecological disaster”, said a press release issued on Friday.


Pointing specifically to a recent and most damaging development, the residents highlighted the encroachments through extension in existing constructions and new commercial projects like construction of a five storey building whose initial excavation and foundation work has been completed inside the river bed. The encroachments are not only altering the natural habitat of Korang River, but will also pollute the Korang River, which is a source of potable water for millions of people in twin cities. Environmental experts at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) have shown reservations on the situation, terming it a serious violation of Environmental Act 1997 and relevant ecological regulations of the country. Commenting on the relevant laws, SDIP Senior Environmental Researcher Kanwar Muhammad Javed Iqbal referred to IEE/EIA Regulation 2000 under Section 12 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 which clearly states requirement of EIA for new projects or extension works pertaining to ecological sensitive areas.


He further highlighted the `CDA Zoning Regulation 2005’, which he said provides clear guideline for un-acquired areas in its section ‘h’ of B on page 8. He said that zoning regulation says that no construction of houses and expansion of settlements shall be allowed in areas adjoining water bodies, lakes and reservoirs. The extent of such areas shall only be determined after proper hydrological survey. Javed Iqbal informed that SDPI team has visited the area and confirmed gross encroachments in the area. “These illegal encroachment and construction puts serious threat not only to sensitive ecological area of Korang River but spread waterborne diseases in twin cities,” he added.

Courtesy:  Daily Times

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