IWMB seeks closure of Wild Mild restaurant

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ISLAMABAD:   (Parliament Times)   The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Monday wrote a letter to the Ministry of Climate Change requesting immediate closure of the private restaurant for Littering and Drainage of Sewerage in Margalla Hills National Park.

Dr. Anis Ur Rahman – Chairman IWMB – in his letter has stated that a restaurant with the name “Wild Mild” located on the Damn-e-Koh Road throw piles of its garbage and cause littering near the entry point of Trail- 4, the restaurant is also involved in the dumping of its raw sewerage in Margalla Hills National Park causing an unbearable foul smell.

He stated that despite warnings and notices by our senior officers the administration of the restaurant has turned unresponsive and continues this activity, which is a violation of section 21.4(v) of Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Ordinance 1979 and section 11 of the Pak-Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1997. Also the dump provides food to unwanted wildlife like rodents, wild boar, insects and snakes, he added.

IWMC has requested the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to take serious action against the owners and immediate closure of the restaurant.

Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) covers approximately 17,386 hectares (67.13sq/m). Tilla Charouni which is 1604m high is the tallest peak in the national park, declared so on April 27, 1980 under Section 21(1) of the Islamabad Wildlife (protection, conservation and management) Ordinance, 1979 and also affirmed as a wildlife sanctuary.

This status strictly prohibits any commercial activity and settlement in the area but a chain of hotels, mushrooming in this diverse park, is destroying the whole environment.

A senior official at Metropolitan Corporation – Islamabad (MCI) wishing anonymity said that that hotelling and all other commercial activities on and around Margalla Hills are in violation of National Park Law but unfortunately the competent authority does not take into consideration suggestions or recommendations of the Directorate of Environment before issuing trade licence to any hotel or handcart in the area.

It is pertinent to mention that a large number of restaurants have opened near Pir Sohawa. The handcarts and the restaurants do not have any waste management system. Visitors throw plastic bottles and other waste in the forest area and pollute the hills.