ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Environment is mulling over a comprehensive strategy to relocate stone crushing business from the Margalla Hills in a bid to put an end to quarrying activities that are causing severe environmental problems. Quarrying in the Margalla is not only accelerating soil erosion and destroying archaeological sites but also polluting environment. According to an official source, at a high-level meeting, officials of the Environment Ministry and its implementation agency Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PAK-EPA) met on July 13 to focus on the issue of stone quarrying at the area. While giving detail description, an official source told TheNation that the business of stone crushing is causing severe environmental hazards therefore the high-ups of the ministry have decided to relocate the quarrying activities from the Margalla Hills to Musa Khail. He said that WAPDA could also be ordered to remove all the transformers and disconnect power supply to industry. It was also learnt that the environmental watchdog also received numerous complaints about environmental pollution caused by the stone crushing business. At the moment more than 157 machines are operating in the area and the number is also increasing with every passing day, as the Punjab Mineral Development Corporation is continuously granting new quarrying leases and extensions to existing ones, he added. It was also learnt that in this regard second meeting would be held after arrival of Secretary Environment from foreign visit, in which representatives of Punjab Mineral Development Corporation would present their proposals to mitigate the environmental impact caused by the quarrying.Officials of the Federal Environment Protection Agency said that they had directed the owners several times to immediately cease the activities. They also said that due to their efforts, the business of stone crushing has come to halt at the Capital. It is to be mentioned here that the federal government had declared the entire area as a National Park in 1980. However, the parks features, including its rock, soil and fauna and flora were destroyed when in 1984 a cement factory was established in the green area. Hundreds of stone crushers were also installed at the national park that had also resulted in total destruction of the natural environment of the area.