Islamabad (Web Desk ) August 12: It is Eidul Azha today and a flood of people from the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are expected to throng the Rawal Lake in Islamabad to enjoy boating and other recreational activities.
However, the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Directorate of Parks has warned that illegal boating in the lake was posing a serious security threat as terrorists could use the boats for any sabotage activities.
The punch, in his report cited a letter (dated 11/07/2019) written by the MCI Directorate of Parks to the Islamabad police and the ICt administration, the illegal boating in Rawal Lake by locals under the supervision of influential mafias could provide grounds for terrorists to carry out saboteur activities.
According to the letter, “illegal boating is being carried out from boundaries of Lake View Park without licences/permissions.”
“The owners belong to nearby local villages and they are being backed by local influential groups who take heavy amounts from these boat owners to support them in their illegal boating businesses,” says the letter.
A majority of these boat operators are inexperienced and underage, and as a result, the health and safety of visitors are at a greater risk. In the past, various accidents had happened and visitors lost their lives.
There are no safety arrangements present at the site like paramedics, divers, rescue workers, rescue motorboats and oxygen masks to rescue any drowning person.”
The letter further says that “these boat owners have occupied park boundaries and the state land with their 150 –plus boats. They have mutilated the park amenities in the shape of the destruction of park fence with damage to stone pitching works and theft of landscape items.”
The letter further says that several complaints in this regard were lodged with the Secretariat Police Station but they have turned a deaf ear to the complaints.
The MCI Directorate of Parks has sought help from the Islamabad police and the ICT administration in reining in the illegal boating activities and fishing.
According to sources, while there is still a little bit of fish left, it is only also facing threat from the greedy poachers who have been dodging government regulations and causing devastation to the fish by using banned close-meshed nets, electrocution and even use chlorine to catch fish. (the Punch)