LAHORE: The Environment Protection Department (EPD) has sought support of police and the district administration for controlling air pollution caused by the industries in the Multan Industrial Estate.
Sources told Dawn the deputy director (environment) of Multan had informed the EPD headquarters that some factories in the Multan Industrial Estate were causing environmental pollution at a massive level. Such units, including chipboard factories, paper mills and smelting plants (old batteries units), were the major air polluters and contributors to smog. He further informed that despite issuance of Environmental Protection Orders under Section 16 of the Punjab Environmental Protection Amended Act 2012 and registration of FIRs, the units were still operating without installation of emission control systems.
Zahid Hussain, secretary environment, who visited Multan recently in this regard, issued directions for immediate action under the law for installation of pollution control devices on these units prior to smog season. He issued directions to ensure compliance of the Punjab Environmental Quality Standards.
Talking to Dawn, the secretary said some industries in Multan Industrial Estate were constantly violating the EPD directions and running their units at night, adding that a stringent action was needed against them. He said he would write a note to the chief secretary for requesting that the inspector general of police should also be informed through the CS about this violation.
The deputy director (environment) at Multan also requested the Multan city police officer for support to stop the operation of these industrial units vide his letters, dated 19.02.2021, 24-03-2021, 08.04.2021 and 29.04.2021, and registered several first information reports (FIRs).
The EPD officials said the relief commissioner had declared smog as calamity under the provisions of the Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief) Act, 1958 and imposed a ban on activities generating air pollution and contributing to smog.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also issued Environmental Protection Orders (EPOs) under Section 16 of the Punjab Environmental Protection Amended Act 2012 but despite issuance of the EPOs the polluting units were still working.
Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2021