March 31, 2021 at 6:59 pm
Chitral Times Report
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir has said that public awareness campaign regarding banning of the polythene bags, which was launched across the capital city of Islamabad, has been now extended to the federal government organisations, where government employees are being made aware and encouraged to shun use of the polythene bags. While addressing the media here on Wednesday, the state minister said that like any other segment of the society, we have now started to approach government employees through the public awareness, sensitisation and outreach activities being carried out in the government organisations including ministries/divisions and attached departments in the capital city of Islamabad and motivate them to stave off the use of polythene bags at all levels, which have proved destructive to overall environment and public health.
“Thousands of employees work in these federal government organisations. However, communicating the message to them regarding adverse impacts of the polythene bags on their health and the environment they live in and feed on is of paramount importance to our efforts aimed at riding the capital city and its suburbs of the polythene bags,” Zartaj Gul emphsised. Sensitisation of one person regarding deleterious aftermaths of the polythene bags is in fact sensitisation of the entire household, where he lives in and where he will carry along the message, she argued, emphatically. The climate change state minister Zartaj Gul said further that public awareness and outreach activities regarding the importance of the shunning use of the polythene bags on environment and public health have also been carried out in the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office, where employees have been made aware of the negative impacts of the polythene bags and importance of their role towards overall environmental conservation and protection of public health by means of avoiding the use of polythene bags. The state minister also told the media that while all political leaders sitting in both upper and lower houses of Parliament have lauded the incumbent government’s anti-polythene bag campaign, the public awareness and outreach activities would now be initiated in the Senate and the National Assembly.
Chairman and deputy chairman as well as Speaker and deputy speakers of the National Assembly would be approached, sensitized regarding deleterious impacts of the polythene bags and urged to motivate MNas and senators to play their part in making not only the capital city but also their own political constituencies, she added. Lauding the role of the official enforcement teams comprising officials of climate change minister Pak-EPA Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and Islamabad Police, she said without untiring efforts and aggressive chasing of the ban violators the enforcement of the polythene bag ban could not have been possible. “I deeply feel motivated witnessing the enforcement teams ensuring implementation of the law regarding ban on polythene bags in all forms and manifestations despites stiff resistance from various quarters including some errant traders, shoppers and customers,” the state minister said, urging the people to support with these enforcement teams and ensure that our neighbourhoods and business are free from the menace of polythene bags that are damaging not only the environment but also human and animal health.
Public awareness and outreach activities in all the federal government organisations are being carried out by the climate change ministry as a part of the present government’s vision for Clean Green Pakistan and commitment towards banning of the polythene bags in the entire country, said senior Joint Secretary Syed Mujtaba Hussain of the ministry, who is leading the campaign regarding implementation of the ban on polythene bags. He recalled that prior to launch of public awareness and sensitization activities for the federal government employees, an official letter was sent to the federal government institutions this year on March 9 through which support of all ministries/divisions and their attached departments for making this ban on polythene bags effective by informing their officers/officials about the enforcement of the polythene bags regulations notified vide SRO No. 92(KE)/2019 dated 22-7-2019, which imposes ban on usage of polythene bags (manufacture, import, sale, purchase, shortage and users) in ICT.
Under the re-enforcement of the complete ban on polythene bags beginning from March 1, use of all polyethylene bags at any level has been again made liable to be fined in the capital region of around 1.5 million people, the senior climate change ministry official of grade 21 highlighted. “Anyone who is found using, selling or manufacturing the polythene bags would face a severe action in the shape of fines,” he warned, adding that all relevant government organisations have been officially directed to remain vigilant and fine anyone found in possession of the polythene bags. “However, through the letter to the federal government entities we have also requested them to completely ban use of the polythene bags within their offices and residential premises, to which we received all-out support regarding the ban,” the senior official Syed Mujtaba Hussain elaborated. He also said that these federal government entities have also placed standees and banners at prominent places of their offices inscribed with public awareness messages regarding negative impacts of polythene bags and fines on violators, which have been provided by the climate change ministry.