Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam on Tuesday said all-out efforts are being taken under the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for clean green Pakistan to overcome growing challenges of environmental degradation, particularly pollution, and unmanaged solid waste littering in cities and towns of the country.
Talking to media here today, he highlighted that the incumbent government was focusing on transforming overall outlook of the cities, which would play key economic roles in the coming days.
“Marked by reckless discarding of solid waste for want of proper waste dispose-off facilities, our cities have become are hugely polluted and fast becoming unlivable,” Malik Amin remarked.
However, the prime minister launched an ambitious Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) last year in November for tackling these very urban environmental challenges, so as to provide the people with healthy livable condition, he said.
CGPI encourage competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management and tree plantation.
The initiative primarily weighs up clean and green characters of the cities on 35 indicators under these five pillars. This index will be used as a benchmark for making annual budgetary allocations to the provinces from the national kitty.
Malik Amin told media that in the initial phase of the CGPI, 20 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, including Attock, Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Okara and Bahawalpur, were selected to compete on certain issues of public interest.
The selected cities are being judged on addressing issues such as safe drinking water, solid waste management, liquid waste management, city beautification, cleanliness of streets, the usability of parks, tree plantation, total sanitation/hygiene and community participation, he added.
He also said that while Initially the performance of the 20 cities from the two provinces competing has been now measured on the CGPI, most of them have performed well on all 35 indicators of CGPI under the six different themes.
Giving break-up of the performance score achieved by the cities, he told media that as per data collected in the climate change ministry regarding performance of the cities on CGPI, Attock city attained the highest score of 76.53 points among all 13 cities of Punjab province followed by Bahawalpur (74.80), Lahore (74.30), Gujrat (70.46), Rawalpindi 69.94), Sahiwal (65.88), Gujranwala (64.39), Faisalabad (62.97), Multan (60.63), Sialkot 56.27), Sargodha (56.10), DG Khan (53.45) and Murree (37.29).
While in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Bannu bagged the higest score of 57.50) on CGPI, followed by Kohat (52.97), Abbottabad (52.72), Peshawar (45.39), Mardan (34.17), Swat (30.97) and D.I. Khan (21.19), the special assistant Malik Amin informed media.
He said that however, in recognition of the performance of 20 cities on 35 indicators of CGPI, the deputy commissioners of the districts, where the cities are located, were awarded by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, who showed prominent progress towards making their cities clean and green.
While highlighting factors and indicators behind of the performance of the cities on 35 indicators, Malik Amin Aslam said that 120,000 champions registered with the PM’s Clean Green Pakistan Programme played a vital role in monitoring the role of the city administrations, particularly municipalities. They also played their role in helping these cities to improve their performance of managing cities in the best environmental-friendly way, he added.
The PM’s special assistant also highlighted that since the launching of the CGPI in November last year, 1,200,235 trees have been planted in these two cities, where 156,724 public hygiene and 10, 787 public awareness on ways and means to keep the cities clean were conducted.
Counting on reasons behind the successful implementation of CGPI under the prime minister Imran Khan’s Clean Green Pakistan Programme, Malik Amin said that demonstration of political will, public behavioural change, local government institutions and enhanced public engagement were instrumental for the improvement in overall environmental and waste management in the 20 competing cities.
He vowed to expand the CGPI experiences to other cities in Balochistan, Sindh Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir soon, where environmental degradation, particularly air pollution and absence of solid waste management facilities are posing grave risks to the public health and overall environment.
The special assistant said every segment of the society, including the administration, the elected representatives and the youth should become part of the prime minister’s clean and green initiative to join hands with the government to tackle burgeoning environmental degradation.