KARACHI: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) has penalized dozens of industries, demanding Rs 3million in fines for violating environmental laws under the 2014 Environmental Protection Act Sindh’s environment, Bol News learned.
On top of that, the environmental protection agency recovered water charges of Rs80m from bottled water companies while 4,373 vehicles were fined while monitoring vehicle emissions. , according to the Sepa 2021 progress report.
He says the agency has imposed penalties on various industrial and business units for total violation of environmental laws. It also recovered water costs of Rs 80million from bottled water companies extracting groundwater as a raw material according to the order issued by the Supreme Court. The agency monitored smoke-emitting vehicles in coordination with traffic police with the aim of controlling air pollution in all major cities. During the vehicle emissions monitoring campaign, the agency along with police monitored 25,130 heavy vehicles while 4,373 vehicles were fined.
âThis year, we have given priority to air pollution to mitigate it and improve air quality in terms of industries, solid waste management and coal combustion, carbon emissions. car traffic, because we focus on air quality by developing a strategy because this air quality is harmful to everyone. including children, âSepa Managing Director Naeem Ahmed Mughal said.
Managing mass road traffic is a bit complicated because Sepa is a regulatory body, he added. âWe don’t have enough resources to curb traffic or transport and dispose of solid waste. This is why we continue to act, sanction and alert public and private organizations in the metropolis.
He added that the agency had already prepared a draft for approval of the provincial climate change policy while addressing other issues. He said the agency planned to work on climate resilient infrastructure to counter natural disasters such as urban and rural flooding etc.
The people of Karachi are facing a wave of environmental pollution which consists of water or sewage pollution, solid waste pollution, marine pollution, air pollution, industrial pollution , soil pollution, noise pollution, vehicle emissions and radiation pollution.
Environmental expert Nasir Panhwar called for climate resilient infrastructure and approval of the provincial climate change policy. “Mass transport, discourage automobile culture, throw away solid waste [at] appropriate landfills, prohibition of unplanned urbanization, encroachment on natural waterways, including Malir and Lyari, are needed. “
Pollutants include carbon particles, smoke, air emissions, carbon dioxide, and various gases that place a heavy burden on the physical and biological environment.
According to the report, 200 sewage treatment plants have been installed in various industrial areas in the province, forcing 87 tanneries to treat their effluent through combination treatment plants specially designed for the tanneries.
In addition, 55 industrial units are in the process of setting up wastewater treatment plants. This action made it possible to reduce marine pollution and get rid of treated effluents in freshwater bodies.
According to testimonies, eight incinerators were recently installed by the Ministry of Health. All major hospitals in the province have been ordered to take effective measures for the efficient disposal of hospital waste. This action will help to contain the spread of diseases caused by infectious waste that was previously thrown away with municipal solid waste.
Air quality survey
An air quality survey was conducted in more than 100 locations in Karachi, including more than 20 locations in each district, aimed at minimizing air pollution in all cities in the province.
Targeted actions to combat air pollution were needed. The agency has taken a number of steps while demolishing and shutting down operations of illegal battery recycling units, brick kilns, coal storage, while focusing on Karachi and Hyderabad. The agency ordered all coal-fired power plants and cement factories to install air pollution control equipment through law enforcement. Thirty-six rice mills and 25 cotton ginners have installed air emission control systems (cyclone separators / dust collectors) to reduce air pollution in Larkana and Mirpurkhas.
Plastic waste can persist in the environment for several hundred years; it poses serious environmental risks and health problems in humans as well as in animals. Some of the major issues are animal deaths, blocked sewer lines, deterioration of natural beauty, and human health issues. Given the seriousness of the problem, the Sindh government has enacted rules called a ban on non-biodegradable plastic products. The agency has converted around 30 million kg of flexible plastics to biodegradable plastics from 2014 to date.
Karachi’s 30 km of coastal water receives a heavy pollution load from domestic and industrial sources. Industrial and municipal sewer releases amount to approximately 472 million gallons per day (MGD), while affecting marine ecosystems causing toxic pollutants and deteriorating water quality.
Water, air, noise and other types of pollution are caused by industrial pollution. The increasing urbanization and industrialization of the country has increased severe types of water and air pollution and other environmental problems, as 1,228 out of a total of 6,634 registered industries are highly polluting units in various industrial zones of Karachi.
Noise is everywhere, it is not as easy to control as the sources of water and air pollution. However, planting trees along roads and near buildings can absorb noise. More can be done by banning old and heavy vehicles as well as by using generators, horns and public address systems installed on the carts of street vendors.
Annual development program
The Sindh government has increased the development budget by 71 million rupees from last fiscal year to 592.359 million rupees with top priority given to the environment sector. It would spend on the creation of an urban forest, a wastewater recycling plant for the urban forest in Clifton, a municipal wastewater treatment plant in DHA phase 7, a recycling plant wastewater for the family park in Clifton and many other projects.
Sepa, as the guardian of the environment, aims to provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for the people of Sindh; ensure the protection and conservation of natural resources, the rehabilitation and improvement of the environment and reduce pollution for a sustainable development in the province. After the 18th amendment to the Constitution, the subject of the environment was devolved to the province. The government of Sindh promulgated the law, rules and regulations on environmental protection in 2014.
The law aims to ensure the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, the prevention and control of pollution and the promotion of sustainable development.