ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad district administration on Friday launched a cleanliness drive at the Margalla Hills after British High Commissioner in Islamabad Christian Turner on his twitter account highlighted the presence of litter on hiking trails of the hills.
On his twitter he stated, “Another #FridayMorningWalk, another two bags of litter. Safaai nisf imaan hai cc @dcislamabad @hamzashafqaat @CleanGreenPK,” as he posed with two litter bags in his hands.
After the British High Commissioner pointed out that he picked up some garbage from Margalla Hills, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqat appreciated his gesture and on Friday gathered few volunteers of Tiger Force and picked up garbage from the Margalla Hills track.
According to the DC, it was a message to everyone to keep the city clean. Later, the DC along with some volunteers launched the cleanliness activity by picking the garbage at the hills.
Taking message of the British High Commissioner and the Islamabad DC, the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board also managed to launch a massive cleanliness drive at the MHNP during the Eid days.
According to the officials at the IWMB, temporary passes have been issued to those willing to participate in the voluntary campaign. Friday was the last day to register and get the temporary passes for MHNP to help with cleanup activities over lockdown and Eid holidays, according to Rina S Khan, Chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board.
The chairperson of the Board is appointed by the federal cabinet, according to the officials.
The officials at the Board told The Nation that about 193 persons have registered themselves for the cleanup activity during the lockdown and Eid holidays.
When asked if the activity wouldn’t be against the spirit of the lockdown, Sakhawat, an official at the Board, said that at no time these people will get together. “They can come to the trail individually, separately when they are free to do their part of the cleanliness,” he said. He said the Board has decided to avail the spirit of the citizens for collecting the garbage thrown by the citizens themselves over the hill.
He was of the view that the cleanliness drive would in no way violate the SOPs imposed to check spread of the Coronavirus in the city.
“Those who have got themselves registered can come anytime during the day separately to the trails and help the Board in cleanup,” he added.
DC Islamabad Muhammad Hamza Shafqat could not be reached for comments on the subject despite repeated attempts.
It is to mention here that the federal government had on April 27 announced a new set of restrictions, including a blanket ban on tourism in an attempt to contain a further rise in the already mounting Coronavirus cases during the upcoming Eid ul Fitr holidays.
According to the Ministry of Interior, fresh restrictions also included closure of all tourist resorts, hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, parks, beaches, and other public places from May 8 to 16. Travel nodes leading to the tourist destinations, particularly the scenic valleys of Murree, Swat, and northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, which attract tourists from across the country during Eid holidays, will also remain closed during May 8-16, the ministry said.
During the recent days, people took to social media to highlight the garbage issue at the Margalla Hills.A