MANSEHRA dawn.com: The Balakot tehsil administration, wildlife department and civil society members have started a campaign for ensuring cleanliness at the Saiful Muluk Lake and its surroundings.
“We have planned to make Saiful Muluk Lake free of garbage through the campaign and those tourists who would throw garbage and polythene bags at the romantic place of a prince with fairy would be fined with Rs10,000 each henceforth,” Roman Borana, assistant commissioner Balakot, told the participants of an awareness walk held at the lake site on Wednesday.
The walk, which was followed by garbage collection drive, was organised by the tehsil administration in collaboration with Lahore-based waste management company and attended by people from civil society, students and employees of the wildlife department and tehsil administration.
Cleanliness drive starts at the lake
Mr Borana said that the national park where the lake was situated was the property of wildlife department. However, he said that it was the basic duty of tourists and local people to keep it free of pollution and garbage.
He said that the government under its tourism policy was giving importance to environment. He said that the tourists at the lake were also warned against polluting the environment.
Speaking on the occasion, Faiq Khan, divisional wildlife officer Mansehra, said that his department was working to make the lake and its surrounding area free of pollution, but even then tourists were throwing garbage and polythene bags.
He said that under the government’s ecotourism policy specific areas and tracks would also be built at the national park. He said that work on a 30kv hydropower project would be started soon at the national park spread over 12,000 acres.
“This national park is the natural habitat of snow leopard and other such species and tourists should provide a free living to flora and fauna,” he said.
Mr Khan said that under Section 29 of the Wildlife and Biodiversity Act 2015 nobody was allowed to indulge in hunting, littering, using pressure horns and throwing garbage here.
Jamil Khawar, representative of the waste management company, said that they had brought students and members of civil society from Punjab to take part in the cleanliness and awareness walk.