KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was told on Monday that the provincial government did not intend to take such an action against manufacturers of polythene shopping bags that could lead to the shutdown of their industry and render thousands of people jobless.
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development Mohammad Taimur Talpur said in answer to lawmakers’ queries during Question Hour in the provincial assembly that the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government would not render anyone jobless.
However, he said, efforts were being made to persuade plastic bag manufacturers to use biodegradable material. The idea of replacing polythene bags with paper bags was not practical, he said. He conceded that the decision to impose complete ban on manufacturing, sale and use of polythene bags in Sukkur could not be implemented for various reasons.
He replied to a written question by Grand Democratic Alliance member Arif Mustafa Jatoi that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency had verified that no cement factory in the province was burning solid waste as fuel.
In answer to another question by Mr Jatoi, the minister said that Sepa had two air quality monitoring laboratories — one fixed at the rooftop of Sepa head office and the other installed in the office of deputy commissioner of district South (Karachi).
In addition, he said, Sepa had one mobile air quality monitoring van for assessing air pollution in urban areas.
To a question by opposition member Rana Ansar, the minister said that the provincial government had initiated work on certain development projects to protect environment.
Three schemes were under way, which were; Environmental Monitoring System in Sepa, study of environmental and health impacts of pesticides and chemical fertiliser and awareness of environment and education for conservation and protection of natural and ecological resources, he said.
Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2019