PESHAWAR, June 5: The Environmental Protection Tribunal (EPT) is not satisfied with the performance of the Environment Protection Agency on the issue of discharge of hazardous effluent from major industrial units, according to sources.

It has sent some proposals to the federal law department, seeking a right to take suo motu action against those violating environmental laws.

Since the establishment of the provincial EPT in September 2004 to penalise violators of environmental laws, the EPA has initiated only a few cases against factories emitting hazardous effluent which cause spread of diseases. The tribunal fined some factories against which the EPA had lodged complaints. But a majority of the cases were registered against small enterprises in the marble and chips sector.

The sources said the tribunal had so far disposed of 45 cases and 35 cases were under process. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1997, the EPA, which is solely responsible to control pollution in the province, has the power to register cases against violators.

The Environmental Protection Tribunal may impose a fine of up to Rs1 million, but the maximum fine imposed on violators was Rs25,000 because the cases referred to the EPT were against small enterprises and factories, the sources said.—PPI

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