Sindh Environment and Climate Change Minister Muhammad Taimur Talpur has said that the provincial government may issue closure notices to up to 100 industries of Karachi in next 10 to 20 days for consistently failing to act upon directives of the Supreme Court-appointed Water Commission to install an effluent treatment unit at their sites.
“The sad aspect is that up to 85 per cent industries of Karachi didn’t act upon the directives of the Water Commission to install effluent treatment plant as all the deadlines given for the purpose were defied,” said the Sindh Environment Minister.
Mr. Taimur Talpur stated this he spoke as being the chief guest at a programme to conduct a beach cleaning drive here at Sea View to mark the World Oceans’ Day.
Nestlé Cares’ in collaboration with the National Forum for Environment (NFEH) and Health and Consumer Association of Pakistan organized the activity.
“We are a political government as we don’t want that we start using powers like a judge and start issuing orders for closure of the industries,” he said. “So we convened a meeting and asked the industries to start their work to install effluent treatment plants,” he said.
“Luckily some of the people started their work but still there are a lot of industries, which are not cooperating with us in this regard,” said the Sindh Environment minister.
“With sorrow I would say that I have been left with no option other than issuing of the closure notices to them (non-cooperating industries),” he said.
The provincial minister said that the government could not compromise any more on survival of the country’s marine life and resources.
He said that work was also on to install combined effluent treatment plants at different industrial zones of Karachi with support of federal government.
He said that once these combined effluent treatment plants would be installed there would be 70 per cent to 80 per cent reduction in the environmental damage being done to the sea.
Mr. Talpur said that since the time he had assumed the charge of provincial Environment Department there had been 50 per cent reduction in instances of open burning of municipal waste in Karachi nearby population.
He said that concerned municipal organizations and police were being involved by his department to check and prevent instances of open burning of municipal waste in Karachi.
He said that the provincial government would soon declare District South in Karachi a plastic-free zone by imposing a complete ban on use of polythene shopping bags.
He conceded that an earlier decision of Sindh cabinet to impose ban on use of polythene bags in Sukkur District could not be properly implemented.
“Much has been done and much more has to be done to safeguard the environment. A lot of harm has been done to the environment but thank God there is no damage, which could not be reversed,” said the Environment minister.
Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs, Nestlé Pakistan, while sharing his views said, “Earlier this year, we led a country-wide tree plantation and cleanliness drive as part of our commitment to contribute towards the vision of a ‘Clean & Green Pakistan’. We have a broader vision and action plan that outlines our commitment to address the plastics packaging waste issue and this beach cleaning drive is also in-line with this pledge,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, NFEH President Naeem Qureshi said that 450 million gallons of untreated municipal and industrial waste of Karachi was daily being dumped into sea causing massive damage to the marine environment and life of Pakistan.
“Karachi has three six industrial zones having 10,000 industries but very unfortunately all of them have been discharging their waste into sea without any treatment,” he said.
He said the situation had become so much adverse that Pakistan at present stood at 80thnumber among other countries in terms of protection of its marine environment.
He said that sea was like a lifeline and a vibrant part of the Pakistan’s economy but instead of safeguarding it; its environment, marine ecology and resources were being constantly damaged.
Commissioner Karachi Iftkhar Salwani stressed on cleaning of beach & appreciated Nestle to launch campaign for environment & community welfare.
Speaking on the occasion, Kaukab Iqbal, CAP Chairman stated: “Organizations should come together for implementing such initiatives to establish common goals for protecting the environment.”
Later, all participants took their part in beach cleaning at sea view along with Minister & commissioner Karachi.