Environment Deptt reviews marine pollution control steps

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The Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development Department (ECC &CDD), Government of Sindh has hosted in a local hotel (Ramada Hotel DHA) on Wednesday here an all-inclusive meeting of key stakeholders who are directly or indirectly responsible for marine & harbor pollution control along with the coastline of Karachi to review and examine the progress made by each organization with regard to mitigation of marine pollution.

While presiding over the meeting, Muhammad Hassan Iqbal, Additional Chief Secretary, ECC&CDD said in his opening remarks that the main objective of convening this meeting is not only to have a collective update on the status of the initiatives and measures to be taken by different government, semi-government, autonomous and private sector organizations to improve the ever-degrading marine environment.

He agreed with a proposal that to expedite the process of installation of both individual and combined effluent treatment plants in industrial areas of Karachi a proactive approach should be adopted to bring all effluent–generating industries into the ambit of environmental compliance.

He asked the Industries Department, Government of Sindh to boost their efforts with regard to the installation of five combined effluent treatment plants in different industrial zones of Karachi which is to be made with the financing of both provincial and federal governments.

He stressed the need to take consistent efforts in this regard to get their schemes approved from Annual Development Plan and have the funds released by fulfilling all necessary requirements.

Mr. Hassan Iqbal also accepted the proposal of one of the participants of the meeting who requested to develop the make and design of an indigenous treatment plant which will save its buyer’s import cost which otherwise one has to pay while importing such facility.

He asked the proposer of the idea to develop its brief concept paper and if Environment Department gets satisfied with the concept it will be forwarded for its inclusion in the upcoming Annual Development Plan.

In the end, while concluding the meeting, the Additional Chief Secretary said that such review of the referred performance shall be made regularly on a quarterly basis and each department shall brief the forum about its quarterly progress with regard to marine pollution control.

The Chairman of Port Qasim Authority Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah has said that they have a project proposal for a wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 6 million gallons per day (MGD).

He informed the participants that its paperwork is being completed and its installation shall commence in due course of time.

He requested Sindh EPA and ECC&CDD to flex up their regulatory muscles and take strict actions against those who release their effluent or wastewater directly into the sea.

He urged all industries to ensure treatment of their wastewater before its release as it becomes a big hit for marine life eventually.

Earlier in his detailed presentation, the Director-General Sindh EPA Naeem Ahmed Mughal enumerated various factors which have been adversely impacting our marine environment for a long time.

He said that domestic sewage, industrial effluent, port-related activities, dumping of solid waste in coastal water, disposal of cow dung from cattle colonies, and effluent of slaughterhouses are playing havoc with the marine environment under the nose of all regulatory frameworks on one excuse or on another.

He lamented that if SEPA initiates legal action against such elements who are polluting the marine environment they have more than several excuses to parry any legal action against them.

He said many industries instead of stepping into the compliance orbit of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014 just pass the buck on the government and called for the combined effluent treatment plant to resolve this issue.

However, he said, there is a positive side of the picture as well where so far 170 industries have installed their own treatment plants at the behest of SEPA while 87 tanneries have also avail such facilities by installing their own treatment plant at the source level. “It is ample proof of the fact that if there is a will there is a way”, he added.

He asked the concerned organizations and departments to immediately take all such measures which will help ward off further degradation of our marine environment.

He asked the KWSB to complete the installation of TP1, TP2, and TP4 as per directives of the Sindh Water Commission.

He said that DHA which is already in process of upgrading its treatment plant should link the Mehmoodabad drain into it while PQA should ensure the establishment of its proposed treatment plant for its three industrial zones.

The representative of KPT said that owing to some land issues it has yet to initiate the process of installation of a 100 MGD Treatment Plant to treat the wastewater of renowned Nehar-e-Khayam which is so far directly being released into the sea.

Besides above dignitaries, those who attended the meeting were; Mr Farrukh Jameel DG P&D Port Qasim Authority; Mr Ghulam Farooque Laghari, MD Karachi Fish Harbor Authority; Mr Akhlaque A Qureshi DG Sindh Coastal Development Authority; Lt Commodore Rana Zohaib Mujahid PN Excutive Officer Pakistan Maritime Agency; Mr Nadeem Arif MD Environmental Management Consultants; Mr Saquib Hussain CEO EHS Services; Ms Farah Rasheed Sustainability Lead Engro Corporation; Mr Kamran Arbi, Vice President SITE Association of Industries; Mr Fayyaz Rasool Manager Marine Pollution Control of KPT; Mr Tariq Ali Nizamani Executive Director Sindh Solid Waste Management Board; Mr Altaf Shaik Manager Conservation WWF-Pakistan; Mr Liaquat Ali Director P&D PQA; Mr Shuneed Ahmed Memon Director Engineering Karachi Fish Harbor Authority; Mr Hadi Bukhsh Kalhoro Additional Secretary Local Government; Mr Aftab Mujahid Israr Director KMC; Mr Ayan Mustafa Bhutto Additional Secretary ECC&CDD; S Mumtaz Hussain Cantt Engineer Cantonment Board Clifton; S Ali Sher Shah P.Engineer NESPAK; Mr Waqar Hussain Phulpoto and Mr Ashique Langah Directors SEPA; and Mr Imran Sabir, Mr Muneer Abbasi and Mr Kamran Khan Deputy Directors SEPA.

 

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