Altaf Hamid Rao.
MIRPUR (AJK): Like rest of the world, world water day was also observed across Azad Jammu Kashmir on Friday with the reiteration and renewal of pledge and firm resolve to perform individual and collective responsibility to save water besides to encourage the sincere efforts at the national level for the establishment of more water reservoirs to meet the future needs of water for the speedy progress and prosperity of the country including Azad Jammu Kashmir.
Special functions in various parts of AJK including Mirpur to commemorate the Universal Water Day were held with special stress by the speakers to save water through individual and collective role.
AJ&K Environmental Protection Agency held an awareness walk with the coordination of the Press Information Department of AJK to highlight the significance of water.
DG EPA Raja Muhammad Razzaq, Director General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal, DG Climate Change Syed Rashid Bukhari,Deputy Director Public Relations Muhammad Bashir Mirza led the walk.
The walk was largely attended by the senior govt. functionaries including DG Information, DG Climate Change, members of civil society, media representative and school children.
The walk started from head office of the EPA and culminated at Chatter. Addressing the participants of the walk, speakers including DG EPA Raja Muhammad Razzaq, DGPR AJK Raja Azhar Iqbal and others said that availability of clean drinking water has become world problem now a days. Emergency steps are being taken to provide clean water world over, they added.
Speaking on this occasion, DG EPA Raja M. Razzaq, DG EPA Raja Razzaq said that availability of safe drinking water has become a world over serious challenge for the policy implementers.
He specifically highlighted that sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind and this is the theme of the year 2019. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water. Emergency steps are required to be taken to provide clean water world over, he added.
He underscored that in AJK we must keep our rivers and reservoirs clean and protected from all kind of pollution and contamination. He, in particular, urged local Government and municipalities to devise a comprehensive and viable strategy for disposal of solid/hospital waste on scientific basis and to avoid throwing garbage into rivers and reservoirs.
The DG EPA said that he volunteered his institution for providing any king technical backstopping to local council department for devising an action plan for solid waste management. Razaq specifically mentioned the vision of PM AJK regarding his commitment for safeguarding the pristine environment of AJK. Civil society members at this occasion demanded for ensuring safe drinking water to all in AJK on war footing.
The DG EPA strongly suggested for immediate enforcement of water policy in the country including AJK to ensure the importance and usage of water resources in view of the future needs of this greatest natural necessity of the human life and for other much required and permanent purposes.
Speakers emphasized the need of focusing fullest attention to establish more water reservoirs in Pakistan with special focus to get the country rid of the grim water crises to meet the present and future water requirements for bringing about progress and prosperity of the country.
In Mirpur, major ceremony to mark the day was held at the bank of scenic Mangla lake near Sukhiyaan under the auspices of the AJK Anglers Association with the coordination of the local civil society.
Addressing the ceremony speakers including President AJK Anglers Association Ramzan Dutt Advocate, Architect Zulfiqar Ahmed and others urged for launching of an integrated awareness program at the national as well as regional level to apprise the masses of their due role for safety and protection of the water resources and excessive use of water.
Speakers expressed grave concern over the increased water crises in the country following reported gradual dryness of rivers following the blatant violation of international norms and river treaties on the part of India.
They also warned of the future challenges with emphasis for the individual and collective national responsibility of the masses especially the concerned stake holders both in the private and public sectors.
Water experts from various parts of AJK and others delivered special lectures on the current water crises in the country besides for the active individual and collective role for protection of Water, Wild Life, Tourism Development and Environment Conservation besides for boosting maximum water resources for the overall economic progress and prosperity of the country including AJK.