The Standing Committee of Pakistan Senate on Climate Change, headed by Senator Sitara Ayaz, here on Friday sought declaration of an emergency to contain environmental degradation in the capital hub of the country.
Taking strong exception to the reports presented and data shared with them by concerned departments, civic besides Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, the committee was unanimous that a holistic approach had to be adopted to combat marine, atmospheric and land pollution in Karachi.
Unchecked discharge and flow of untreated wastewater along with sewage from domestic, industrial and commercial sources into the sea was registered to be a major threat to the marine life.
The Committee took stock of the fact that this had its severe and wide ranging implications on the food chain as well as associated industries including that of shipping, fish and existing recreational facilities.
Generation of 12,000 tons of wide range of garbage in the metropolis on daily basis, with major proportion of it left unattended, was also noted to be a serious issue that could not be ignored.
It was suggested that this must be efficiently handled with particular attention towards safe disposal of hospital based waste comprising both bio-degradable and non bio-degradable categories, almost equally hazardous in nature.
State Minister for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul Wazir, on conclusion of the committee’s visit to the headquarters of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), in a briefing to the media said resource constraints, capacity building and shortage of man power to handle the pollution was reported by almost every stakeholder.
She said that federal government is fully cognizant of the intensity of the situation and will extend every assistance and cooperation to address the issue.
The State Minister mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan with absolute understanding about the challenges associated with climate change had all the way back in 2013 shared his vision with the nation.
“People were making fun of his Billion Tree campaign,” she reminded adding that its benefit and that of pollution are now being realized by many of the countrymen.
“Federal government is working on policy to eliminate pollution,” reiterated the state minister for climate change mentioning that this infact was part of Prime Minister’s mission for a safe and secured Pakistan. To a query about oil spill instances at Karachi shore, she said the Minister of Shipping, Syed Ali is actively engaged in this regard and that interventions initiated by Pakistan Navy and PMSA.