OMBUDSMAN CONCERNED OVER NON-IMPLEMENTATION OF SUPREME COURT RECOMMENDATIONS TO PREVENT FIRE INCIDENTS AT MARGALLA HILLS.
The Federal Ombudsman Secretariat has shown great concern over non-implementation of Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat recommendations endorsed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to prevent fire incidents at Margalla Hills. A meeting on the implementation of these recommendations was hold today in the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat. Previously, in pursuance of the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan dated 25-06-2018, the Hon’ble Ombudsman after a series of meetings with CDA, NDMA, Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI), Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and M/o Interior had made recommendations and suggested measures to prevent incidents of fire at Margalla Hills. It was recommended that MCI, CDA, IWMB and NDMA should work together to develop SOPs to ensure coordination in order to avoid such incidents. It was also recommended that these agencies would submit quarterly reports and annual fire control plan to the Ombudsman Secretariat. In today’s meeting, it was informed that no such meeting between the stakeholders has taken place as yet. The representative of IWMB informed that numerous letters had been written to MCI but to no avail. The representative of NDMA apprised that NDMA has itself scheduled a national level meeting in this respect on 2nd April. It was also recommended that MCI would equip its pickets on modern lines to control the incidents of fire along with presence of sufficient staff. However, unfortunately no equipment had been placed on the pickets and transfer of manpower on the pickets is still in pipeline. The Federal Ombudsman Secretariat showed great displeasure over the poor performance of Municipal Corporation Islamabad.
It was also recommended that NDMA should provide emergency support i.e. provision of helicopter etc. The rep. of NDMA informed that they had been fully prepared to provide any support in exigency of fire at Margalla Hills. Similarly, on the recommendations of Wafaqi Mohtasib MCI had launched an awareness campaign to sensitize the neighboring villages to control fire incidents, regular meetings with the police, village headmen and masjid imams have been held to sensitize the local inhabitants.
The representative of Ministry of Interior was directed to hold meeting with MCI, CDA, IWMB & NDMA in the first week of April to coordinate all activities relating to prevention of fire incidents at Margalla Hills National Park. It was also decided that the Hon’ble Wafaqi Mohtasib would hold a meeting in the 3rd week of April to examine the implementation progress, whereas the Secretary Ministry of Interior, Chairman CDA, Mayor, Municipal Corporation Islamabad and Chairman Islamabad Wildlife Management Board would be attended this meeting.