Pakistan — The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has made comprehensive arrangements and is taking concrete measures to overcome the threats of forest fire in Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).
CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi has directed the Environment Wing of the civic body to be vigilant during the fire season to protect the rich biodiversity and fauna flora of MHNP.
During a meeting on Sunday to review the arrangements for the fire season, CDA chairman directed member environment to pay regular visits to MHNP and ensure strict monitoring of the vegetation in the area, especially those areas which are extremely flammable and highly prone to forest fire during summer season.
Member Environment Mian Waheedud Din apprised the chairman that Environment Wing in collaboration with the allied organizations and associated NGOs has taken concrete measures for minimizing the fire incidents.
A deployment plan of the emergency staff has been chalked out distributing the MHNP into four ranges, which are Golra, Saidpur, Noorpur, and Bahara Kahu range.
He said that 30 fire pickets have been established in the park area as part of the arrangements for prevention, detection and control of forest fire.
He said that under the Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) for the fire season, 225 kilometers fire line and 196 kilometers trial-path have been cleared.
Awareness signboards along Daman-e-Koh Road have been fixed. NGOs like HWF, Margalla Hills Society, WWF are also associated for awareness campaign among public for prevention and control of forest fire. 16 villages committees have been constituted in the Margallah Hills for detection and prevention and control of forest fire, while, seasonal staff has been engaged in consultation with villages committee of concerned areas.
Member Environment said that Seasonal staff on daily wages has been increased from 300 to 400 and total 550 staff inclusive of 150 regular staff has been deployed on 30 fire pickets round the clock in two shifts.
He said that a Control-Room has been established at Environment Directorate (F-9 Park), which will remain operative day and night with Telephone No. 051-2855513 as well as connected with fire pickets through wireless system.
One observatory picket has also been established at Shakarparian.10 vehicles and three water tankers deployed for patrolling prevention and control of forest fire.
He informed that arrangement/coordination with 6th Army Aviation Squadron of Emergency Relief Cell have been reviewed and updated in case of big fire for aerial support.
Besides, ICT Administra-tion and Police are also associated in control of forest fire and patrolling of the National Park Area. One Deputy Director and an Assistant Director will act as Duty Officer under proper duty roster round the clock.