The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Climate Change has proposed the installation of streetlights in Margalla Hills National Park to address night accidents, but the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board opposes the idea. The committee also suggests using public transport for restaurant visits on Margalla Hills.
During discussions, the Committee highlighted Monal restaurant’s severe environmental damage and informed that court orders to close it were repeatedly stayed. Opinions were divided on permanent closure, with some emphasizing noise pollution, traffic jams, and environmental degradation, while others consider preserving employment opportunities and the beauty of Islamabad.
The committee also expressed concerns about the poor sewerage systems installed by various restaurants in Margalla Hills, including Monal, and decided to hold a separate meeting to address this issue specifically.
The proposal to use public transport has faced opposition from officials who argue that locals also use the Margalla hill road for transportation, making it impractical to ban private vehicles’ entry.
The recommendation for streetlight installation in Margalla Hills to improve security has also met resistance from the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB). IWMB raised concerns about light pollution, which can significantly affect the wildlife in the vicinity of the National Park. Nocturnal animals rely on the darkness of the night for their activities, and artificial light during nighttime alters their environment drastically.
Light pollution is a global concern, with urban areas rapidly expanding and impacting natural ecosystems. The ecological consequences of artificial light at night depend on species’ activity patterns, sensitivity to light, and feeding ecology. Many diurnal species are prone to extend their activity into the night when exposed to streetlights, affecting the wildlife in Margalla Hills National Park.