ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly was informed today that efforts are underway to enhance the early warning and weather forecasting capacity of Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid told the House during question hour that the Meteorological Department has acquired a product of European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting which enhanced the forecasting capacity of the department.

The Minister said although the disaster management is a devolved subject however, the National Disaster Management Authority took comprehensive steps in coordination with other departments and agencies in preparing a workable strategy to handle the floods.

Answering a question, Zahid Hamid told the House that there is no Steel Mills and Brick kiln located in residential area of Islamabad. However, it is a fact that steel mills located in Islamabad industrial area and brick kilns located in Peri-urban area of Islamabad, do cause environmental pollution.

He said Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring and taking action against steel furnaces and brick kilns causing pollution. He said 45 brick kilns which were located around airport were closed down.

Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat Raja Javed Ikhlas told the House that under the Trade Marks Ordinance, 2001, neither trademark nor any of its parts can be registered if it consists of any scandalous design or a matter that may hurt the religious susceptibilities of any section of the society.

He said post exposure vaccines against fatal diseases like, anti-snake bites and dog bite vaccine, tetanus Taxied and anti-Rabies vaccine are available in PIMS and Polyclinic Hospitals Islamabad.

To a question, Raja Javed Ikhlas said it is not a fact that Hepatitis is increasing due to non-availability of potable water in Islamabad.

He said there are 37 filtration plants which are providing clean drinking water to the residents of Islamabad. He said CDA regularly check the functioning of water filtration plants and ensure supply of clean drinking water.

To another question, he said no proposal is under consideration for provision of alternate land to illegal dwellers of Katchi Abadies within the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory limit. However, he said the matter regarding Katchi Abadis in Islamabad is before the Supreme Court and the government shall implement the directions of the apex court as and when received. He said security hazard is one of the reasons for removing of Katchi Abadies. He said the government would make efforts to introduce a scheme to facilitate the dwellers of Katchi Abadies.

Replying to a question, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad told the House that PIA has taken the planes on dry lease and enhanced its fleet from 14 to 37. He said efforts are underway to increase the flights on different air routes to facilitate the people. He said PIA pay over 72 million rupees as monthly landing fee at foreign airports.

Parliamentary Secretary for Railways Ashiq Hussain informed the House that the government has shown zero tolerance against encroachments of all kinds of land. He said it has taken across the board transparent anti-encroachment measures in all the provinces as a result of which there have been no fresh encroachments on Railway land. He said in the meanwhile an area of over 966 acres has been got vacated from encroachers in the tenure of the present government.