ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Environment has directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to initiate installation of treatment plants on the tributaries of Rawal Lake for checking the fast growing pollution in the Lake. Located within an isolated section of the Margalla Hills, Rawal Lak is not the main source of water supply to inhabitants of Rawalpindi but also offers significant recreational site. The Rawal Dam is constructed on Kurrang River and has a catchment area of 106 sq miles, which generates 84,000 acre-feet of water in an average rainfall year. However, despite having significance of area water of the lake has continuously been polluted form different sources for the last many years. Now the Lake has become merely an oxidation pond as huge amount of raw sewage is coming from urban resettlement, including sewage from Quaid-e-Azam University, Bari Imam, Noor Pur Shahan, Bani Gala, Bahara Kahu, Diplomatic Enclave and Murree. The issue of installation of sewage treatment facility on the main tributaries of Rawal Lake was agreed upon by the CDA officials in past. However, it is astonishing that so far the Authority has not taken concrete measures to install any treatment facility at Rawal Lake. Considering water contamination of Rawal Lake, the Federal Minister for Environment Hamid Ullah Jan Afridi has taken serious notice of the situation on Monday during a high level meeting and emphasised the need for addressing the issue on emergency basis. The Minister has also asked Pak-EPA to control the upstream construction and to take action against the polluters. It was decided that the CDA, WASA Rawalpindi and Pak-EPA would immediately launch effective enforcement of laws in their areas of jurisdiction. It was also decided that the CDA has to initiate installation of treatment plants on the main tributaries of Lake. The participants of meeting comprising the officials of the Environment Ministry and its implementation agency, Managing Director WASA Rawalpindi, Director General (RDA) and other senior officers of key agencies highlighted the issues related to water contamination due to human activities in Rawal Lake Catchment Area (RLCA). On the occasion, Managing Director, WASA urged to support them in addressing the issue of water contamination reaching Rawal Lake. While the Director General, CDA clarified the position and stated that efforts would be made to expedite the process. It is to be mentioned here that in 1995 the Pakistan Environment Protection Council appointed a task force to control the pollution in Rawal Lake and the task force in turn set up a working committee. In one of the meeting the committee members decided that the CDA, as short term measures would immediately start construction of two sewerage treatment plants, one in Noor Pur Shahan and other at Bani Gala to collect and treat the sewerage water generated from Noor Pur Shahan, Malpur, Bani Gala and Bhara Kahu. A high powered Rawal Lake Catchments Monitoring Committee (RLCMC) was also constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary Ministry of Interior with representatives of key stakeholders, including RDA, Water WASA, Pak-EPA, CDA, Small Dam Organisation (SDO) and others. This committee imposed complete ban on motorised boats operating at Rawal Lake in its meeting held on July 7, 2004 but the ban became ineffective with the passage of time.