Action plan needed to control rising pollution: Wahab


Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Environment and Coastal Development, while addressing a seminar on air pollution as the chief guest, said that he was not an environmentalist and would discuss the political implications of the environment.

When I got the portfolio of environment department, it seemed that I was being punished but the party leadership and the chief minister gave me confidence and I tried. Now the institution is much better.

He said that the Environment Department had not been given importance in the past

“Now I am happy because we were moving in the right direction.  In our society, there is more talk but less work.  The environment is something we can easily improve,” he added.

“We have to move towards collective thinking.  We clean our house, not the neighborhood or the city.  The environment is a problem for the whole country, society and the world.”

He said that efforts had been made to improve the environment in Lahore and now the situation in Karachi is much better.

He said that when SEPA started its work, a lot of people would be inconvenienced.  He said that there should be an action plan related to the environment because the action plan which creates a reaction creates problems.

Governments started implementing the directives but there was a lack of practical thinking.  The RO plants were shut down and eventually they were shut down and finally given the clean chit.

He said when I land at Islamabad Airport, I see housing societies being formed. Why can’t they be formed here?  In the past, Naimatullah Khan commercialized the roads but the decision is challenged in the courts.

The Prime Minister has called the construction industry a game changer but talking will not do anything. Action is needed now.  We make policies but the mafia stops us.

The Sindh government wants to work so let us work. Unless we all work together we will not get better results.  “We took action against the dead animals and those who melted the batteries,” he said.

Environment Secretary Muhammad Aslam Ghauri delivered a welcome address and said that 90% of the world’s population is breathing in an unsatisfactory atmosphere.  Ninety percent of deaths in Asia are premature due to air pollution.