Factories in twin cities causing air pollution

Staff reporter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - Islamabad—A large number of marble and steel factories, set up in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad especially in industrial sectors, I-9 and I-10 are one of the major contributors to air pollution. The residents frequently complain of diseases like chest congestion and asthma, which are directly linked to air pollution according to doctors.

They said that the concerned departments have failed to check increasing air pollution which is mainly caused by the steel and marble factories set up in the nearby industrial areas. The marble factories are not only cause of air pollution but they also cause noise pollution. These factories throw their waste into the nearby natural streams. None of these factories follow any environmental or labour laws, says Salman Ahmad, a worker.

He said most of the workers developed chest diseases due to inhaling dust frequently and that the factory owners adopted no safety precautions. According to environmentalists at the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (PEPA), the steel industry is a big source of pollution because it uses low-quality scrap as raw material and releases a huge number of harmful particulate in the air.

A medical physician said that smaller particles, when inhaled, can cause a lot of trouble. “We are living in worst environmental conditions, but the CDA, despite growing concerns among inhabitants of this area over the air pollution, has remained indifferent”, Mr Akram said, resident of I-9 sector while talking to this agency. When contacted, an official of the concerned department of CDA said the authority was pursuing industrialists, with a special focus on steel and marble factories, to use treatment plants to filter hazardous smoke emissions.

The official agreed that the residents of the sectors close to the industrial area were suffering from air pollution, and, as a result, were more prone to respiratory diseases. “If the industrialists do not follow CDA directives to control air pollution in near future, the authority will file a complaint with the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (PEPA),” he said. He said the authority had devised a plan to check air pollution in the federal capital territory.

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