Monal Restaurant in the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) will be converted into a Visitors Information Centre for children’s education and awareness on the protection of wildlife, after the destination was sealed on orders of the Islamabad High Court last month.
Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change, including Committee Chairperson Senator Seemee Ezdi visited the park and were briefed on the matter by the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Monday, also receiving a guided tour of the Visitors Information Centre and Trail 6.
The IHC issued an order to shutter Monal Restaurant, located high in the Margalla Hills, in January after it determined the popular destination was being operated on illegally encroached land. Since the order, the IWMB has assumed management of the area and the surrounding park land.
IWMB spokesperson Rina Saeed Khan further told the committee that three leopards had been rehabilitated in the park, free to roam the 11km between Trail 6 and Trail 4.
“The three leopards, Shezadi, Shezada and Sultan, are frequently seen on the main track. They marked it their territory which has now been reserved as the Leopard Preservation Zone,” the spokesperson said, adding that the zone would be opened for guided tours in the coming weeks.
Senator Ezdi praised the conservation initiative, stating, “It is encouraging to see endangered species thriving here and we must play our role in protecting the biodiversity of this region.”