Rawalpindi is to get an additional 100 million gallons of water per day from Tarbela dam by 2015 when the city is projected to become the fourth largest urban area of the country with a population of nearly 2.3 million. A

Sindh needs a holistic approach to address its numerous development and environmental challenges. This was stated by Additional Chief Secretary (Planning and Development) Nazar Hussain Mahar in a meeting with the delegation of the IUCN, says a statement issued here on Wednesday. He said that a strategy for sustainable development in Sindh developed by the planning and development department in collaboration with the IUCN would provide framework for the progress in future. He pointed out that coastal areas of Sindh were passing through ecological changes, which had affected the livelihood of people. He said that there was immense scope of work in Sindh yet to be undertaken and added that forests were being affected due to water scarcity in the Indus.

Dawn 27/02/08 The City District Government Karachi will set up 40 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the metropolis under public-private partnership at various bus terminals and depots of the defunct Karachi Transport Corporation. Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil said this while talking to Chairman CNG Station Owners Association of Pakistan (CNG-SOAP) Malik Khuda Bukh, who called on her at her office on Wednesday. She said that the country's progress in the CNG industry would help realise the dream of pollution-free environment. She said the government was working for the betterment of the city's infrastructure. They were making all out efforts to ensure pollution-free environment in the metropolis, she said, adding that a model fitness and vehicle testing station was being set up to cope with growing vehicle-related pollution. The association chairman was satisfied that there was no shortage of gas in Sindh. He said that 1,923 CNG stations were working across the country, while 1.65 million vehicles were running on CNG. He said 40 per cent of these CNG-run vehicles were in Karachi. The naib nazim was informed that Sindh had also provided 47 million cubic feet gas to Sui Northern Gas Company, when the Punjab province was hit by gas shortage in winter. She was also told that Karachi needed some 200 CNG stations to meet the growing demand.

Over 60,000 ton waste has been removed from the open drains and sewerage pipes in 10 localities of Lahore during the past six months by the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa). As a result of desiltation, sewage water flow in the Mian Mir, Sattu Katla, Samanabad, Gulshan-i-Ravi, Sabzazar, Babu Sabu, Awan Town, Shadbagh, Gulberg and Shadman had improved significantly, a spokesperson said on Wednesday. "The city's main drains are now capable of surviving water flow, especially during the upcoming monsoon season, from localities like Jail Road, Upper Mall, Gulberg, Shah Jamal, Iqbal Town, Muslim Town, Wahdat Colony, Garden Town and Samanabad,' the spokesperson added. The desiltation of open drains and sewerage system in Lahore was launched in January last year with the Rs789 million Japanese government's assistance.

Authorities allowed extraction of coal in Darra Adamkhel which was stopped after army operation against militants in the region, mine owners said. A delegation of Coal Mines Owners Association led by its chairman Haji Abdullah called on military authorities here on Tuesday and asked them to allow workers to start exploration of coal in the area. The association chairman said that they had been permitted to carry out mining from 8am to 5pm daily. The army assured us that security forces would not create hurdles in our work, he added. He said that a large number of workers hailing from different parts of the province suffered due to closure of coalmine in Darra Adamkhel and also caused huge financial losses to the owners. More than 150 truck coal is explored from mines daily in the area which has huge deposits of coal. Mining was stopped in the region after security forces launched operation against militants on Jan 25.

As many as 20,000 trees spread over 70 acres of Khabrani forest in Matiari district in compartment No.13-B and 14-B were completely destroyed on Monday as a fire broke out in the forest. According to the executive director of Indus Development Organisation (IDO) Zain Daudpoto, volunteers of the forest protection committee struggled the whole night and controlled the fire from spreading any further. District Forest Officer Syed Wasif Ali Shah has reached there and inspected the area with Daudpoto and forest protection committee volunteers.Zain Daudpoto in a statement issued here on Tuesday said that according to his estimates 20,000 trees on 70 acres of land had been destroyed. Later, a meeting of the IDO was held on Tuesday which was also attended by a large number of villagers. The meeting was of the opinion that some influential people were involved in the fire and wanted to occupy the forestland.

A study on airborne pollen conducted by the Karachi University's botany department has identified 12 plant species that cause allergies. The pollen frequency was reported highest in April and September while Conocarpus (buttonwood)

The United Nations Population Fund will provide $2.4 million for the population welfare activities in the country. In this regard, a signing ceremony for the implementation of the annual work plan 2008 between the ministry of population and UNFPA was held here on Thursday. Country representative UNFPA Dr France Donnay and Mohammad Sharif, secretary ministry of population, signed the work plan. The fund would be utilised for implementation of reproductive health and family planing activities in the focused districts of Mansehra, Kohat, Chakwal, Muzaffargarh, Qilla Saifullah, Chaghi, Jacobabad, Thatta, Kotli and Muzaffarbad. The major activities of the annual plan included training, integrated quality primary health care, reproductive health/family planning through mobile units in remote areas, advocacy and community awareness, procurement of contraceptives, improved management system for programme delivery, support to demographic and population studies and sensitisation of political as well as religious leaders besides support for public-private sector organisation on population and development issues.

Thousands of tons of used computers and obsolete electronic equipment, which contain large amounts of hazardous waste, are being brought into Pakistan with complete disregard to the grave risks they pose to human and environmental health, Dawn has learnt. Tens of thousands of used computers and related equipment, which are difficult and expensive to dispose of in developed countries because of their hazardous nature, are annually imported under the pretext of