LAHORE, March 31: The environment department of the City District Government Lahore has sealed a poultry feed processing unit ‘illegally’ operating in close proximity of eight residential schemes on Defence Road.

Owners of Qasim Feeds Factory and four other such units had been granted six months time in November for shifting their businesses outside urban limit and in the meantime they had to take measures to minimise ill effects on environment.

“But it failed to comply with the terms of the understanding and thus was sealed on Tuesday,” district environment officer Tariq Zaman says.

“We had to act for the unit had aggravated the situation for residents of the area.”

Residents of the surrounding localities as well as of industrial concerns have been complaining of the foul smell generated during processing of the poultry waste as obsolete technology is being used for it, he says, justifying the action taken under section 146-D-1 of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 2001.

Mr Zaman claims that the complaints were confirmed during a site inspection.

“The complaints were genuine and the foul smell emanating from the stored poultry waste and during its processing was spreading over a radius of two kilometres.”

Transportation of poultry waste, its storage for a longer period during holidays and repair of machinery, poor housekeeping, negligence in handling of excessive and unprocessed material were causing severe offensive odour, besides extremely unhygienic environmental conditions were prevailing in the locality, he says.

Even export-oriented manufacturing units have complained of losing their clientele as foreign buyers abhorred visiting the factories situated in an environmentally hazardous place, Mr Zaman claims.

The poultry feed processing units had been established in 1990s when no housing schemes existed in the area. After the area was populated, the units’ owners were issued notices two and half years ago to shift their business from there.

But they pleaded with the DCO to give them time for introducing new technology to control the odour.

The DCO rejected their plea on complaints from the residents of the area.

The buildings of the units were demolished. They were allowed to operate for six months more after submitting affidavits to ensure their shifting by the expiry of the grace period and that they would minimise the violation of environment rules during this time.

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