Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wednesday informed a parliamentary committee that her office has requested the government to take back ownership of Marghazar Zoo from Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad for better management and care of the animals. "The zoo is in terrible condition where its staff takes home food meant for the animals. There are no trained caretakers and handlers and exotic animals are dying there," Zartaj Gul told the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change.
The committee met to discuss the budgetary matters and ongoing projects of the Ministry of Climate Change. However, various issues pertaining to deteriorating environment of the capital city were taken up including quality of the air in the capital, cutting of more trees than saplings are being planted, use of dedicated parking spaces for high-rises, and encroachment upon 725 acres of land acquired by the Ministry of Climate Change for the planned Botanical Garden.
While members of the committee complained of deplorable state of animals at the Islamabad Zoo, Zartaj Gul said that a summary had been forwarded by the Ministry of Climate Change, demanding control and management of the Marghazar Zoo. "The zoo needs to be returned from the MCI to the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board that has qualified individuals and trained caretakers," she noted. She also told the committee about the planned Botanical Garden in Bhara Kahu area that will also have a zoo.
Regarding the Botanical Garden, the chairperson of the committee, Senator Sitara Ayaz asked if the 725 acres of land for the Botanical garden was still occupied by the land grabbers.