Cleanup plan

Published: Saturday 15 May 2004

-- To reduce the pollution level of Rawal lake in Islamabad, the Rawal Lake Catchment Management Committee (RLCMC) has decided to periodically inject activated carbon into waters of the catchment area, The decision was taken in its second meeting held in Islamabad.

Apart from representative of the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (pepa), RLCMC members include officials of the Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA), Rawalpindi Development Authority, Capital Development Authority (CDA), Small Dams Organization (SDO) and Punjab Environment Protection Agency (EPA). At the meeting, it was decided that action would be taken against those who were causing contamination in the lake by violating the Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997.

The quality of water supplied by Rawal Dam, the major water source of Rawalpindi, is deteriorating with increasing contents of human and poultry refuse, warned PEPA. Asif Shuja, director general, said: "Samples show that the water of Rawal lake contains high concentration of phosphate and sulphate -- an indication of human refuse and poultry farm pollutants." RLCMC also observed that the biological oxygen demand of the lake had jumped to an alarming 680 milligrammes per litre (mg/l), as against the stipulated national environment quality standard of 80 mg/l.

The meeting directed WASA to carry out chemical and biological analysis of the lake water. The SDO was asked to order poultry farms to burn their waste instead of discharging them into the lake. EPA was entrusted with the responsibility of stopping construction work in the catchment area of the waterbody. The CDA and Islamabad capital territory administration, too, would control all unplanned building activity in the area.

The CDA was also asked not to give any clearance for electricity, telephone, gas and water supply connections to those residential colonies in the catchment area that had no septic tanks of their own. Further, the Punjab tourism department was told to provide proper waste disposal facilities at Chattar Park (give location) to discourage throwing of waste into Korang river.

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