Clean up activity at Pir Sohawa Road

Islamabad: Volunteers including men, women and children collected 120 large bags of garbage and trash from three viewpoints of Margallah Hills on Thursday.

The spring cleanup activity at Pirsohawa Road was organised under the Prime Minister’s campaign of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ by the SMEC Oil & Gas in collaboration with Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB).

The Margallah Hills National Park is the hallmark of Islamabad’s beauty. There are many viewpoints established on the Pirsohawa Road from where one can witness breathtaking views of twin cities. Unfortunately, due to apathy of visitors the viewpoints have become littering grounds. People bring plastic bags full of consumables and leave behind plastic shoppers, food, drink containers, bottles and other non-biodegradable materials.

The clean-up event was attended by around 100 volunteers from all walks of life, including families, students, employees of SMEC Oil and Gas and IWMB forest guards. The participants cleaned the 3 main viewpoints in about 2 hours’ time collected about 120 large bags of garbage and trash.

Syed Mujtaba Hussain Joint Secretary Ministry of Climate Change and Rina Saeed Khan Chairperson IWMB were the guest of honors on the occasion. Syed Mujtaba Hussain, while addressing the audience, thanked the volunteers for performing a great job of cleaning the viewpoints. He reiterated that citizens of Islamabad are so lucky to have such a beautiful and scenic Margallah hills right in the Capital city which is very rare in this world. “So we must try to maintain its beauty by maintaining its natural habitat,” he said.

He informed that government has banned the plastic and polythene bags from Islamabad and a fine of Rs5,000 had been imposed to the offenders. He said that their teams are raiding various markets to impose fine to those shopkeepers who are violating the law. Rina Saeed Khan expressed her gratitude to all the people involved in the clean-up activity. “It was a pleasant surprise for us to see the volunteers gathered for such a noble cause and performed an amazing activity.” She also thanked MD SMEC Oil & Gas, their employees and families and IWMB staff in participating the clean-up event.

Tassadaq Malik, Managing Director of SMEC Oil and Gas, in his concluding remarks, said that the litter is not only an eye sore and a blot on the reputation of one of the most beautiful capitals of the world, it also presents an immediate danger to natural environment of the hills. The cities are the representation of the collective consciousness of its citizens, the fact remains that cleanest cities in the world are kept clean by its citizens not by janitors. This was the third such activity where viewpoints were cleared of tons of garbage. The clean viewpoints would attract visitors “to come and enjoy the serenity of Margalla Hills.” His team conducted the Corporate Social Responsibility activity in support of the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Clean and Green Pakistan campaign. He emphasized that “changing mindsets” of the people help resolve climate issues such as air, water and plastic pollution.

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