Polluters of Karachi

AFTER chemists and druggists in Punjab, it is now industrialists of Karachi that are threatening to take things to extreme if the provincial government did not bow down before their illegitimate demands. Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has started serving notices on polluters and instead of taking measures to comply with the legal requirements the industrialists have announced to close down their units if notice were not withdrawn.
According to WHO, about 29,000 deaths occur in Pakistan yearly due to environmental hazards while damage to economy is estimated to be around five billion rupees. This is more so in the case of Karachi, which, as per a report of the World Economic Forum, is one of the five most polluted cities of the world. Nowhere in the world are factories allowed to establish without addressing environmental concerns and they are required to install effluent treatment plants. Industrial operations that lack suitable oversight, regulatory policies and guidelines have resulted in extensive pollution of the environment and that is what happened in Karachi. Rules and regulations were there but these were never implemented and it was because of the Supreme Court intervention that SEPA has come into action. It is strange that all polluters have joined hands to oppose the move, which is aimed at preventing further pollution in the country’s most populated city. Non-compliance of environmental code has led not only to degradation of the city environment but also polluted the sea threatening the marine life as well. For so long industries violated the law, contributed to alarming increase in the level of air and water pollution and minted money at the cost of health of the citizens. They should have themselves realized the damage being caused and also their responsibility towards the society. We appreciate the resolve of the leadership of SEPA not to show any leniency towards polluters and force them to comply with the law. Hopefully, there would be no compromise on the health of the people of Karachi, which should be the prime concern of the provincial government.

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