By Sarfraz Ali
Sindh Minister for Environment and Alternate Energy Shaikh Mohammad Afzal has said that the campaign to convince industries to properly dispose off their affluent will restart in next ten days to protect environment.
"This is not tolerable and we will start action against those industries which are polluting environment, he said while responding to questions of media at a reception.
National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) Chairman CNG Station Owners Association Malik Khuda Baksh, Director General SEPA Naeem Mughal, president NFEH Naeem Qureshi, Afia Salam of IUCN, Gulzar Firoz chairman standing committee on Environment FPCCI also addressed on the occasion.
"This campaign has not been withdrawn due to pressure. A time period was given to 100 industrial units in SITE and Korangi industrial areas by the former minister to improve situation through internal arrangements for waste disposal special wastewater, he added.
He said that industrial units mostly textile and chemicals do not have treatment plants and they discharge their effluent into main drain thus polluting Lyari and Malir rivers.
The minister said that industrial units do not allow our inspectors to enter their factories and use various pressure tactics to get away from routine inspections.
"I have issued instructions to Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to take action against polluting industrial units and do not afraid of pressure. I will take the pressure you do you work without fear", he maintained.
Referring to heavy smoke emitting public transport, he said that efforts are on to have a law for arresting the polluters as a deterrent. He said smoke emitting vehicles will be issued red stickers and will be asked to repair the cause. After repair they will be issued green stickers for playing on road, he noted.
He pointed out that a new law was in offing to increase the thickness of polythene bags and use of degradable material in plastic bags.
Shaikh Azfal said that his department has sought a separate budget to launch the publicity campaign to create awareness about environment among the people. We are also considering to include environment as subject in the syllabus of class three, he added.
Chairman FPCCI sub committee on Environment Gulzar Firoz said that the Federation would not protect the polluters. He said that textile mills were the biggest polluters.
Chairman CNG Station Owners Association Malik Khuda Baksh said that vehicular pollution has been reduced by 20 percent in the country after the conversion of 2.5 million vehicles from fossil fuel to compressed natural gas (CNG). CNG sector should be protected for the sake of environment.
Director General SEPA Naeem Mughal, Professor Ejaz Farooqui, Afia Salam of IUCN and representatives of Engro Chemicals Pakistan Refinery and Pakistan Steel others also spoke on the occasion.