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Full Version: Industrial units in I-9, I-10 to be relocated: Afridi
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* Minister tells NA steel-melting furnaces major source of pollution
* Owners use dirty scrap and don’t operate anti-pollution equipment on a regular basis

By Irfan Ghuari

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) was told on Thursday that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had been identifying an alternate site for re-location of industrial units based in Sectors I-9 and I-10, causing environmental pollution.

Environment Minister Hameedullah Jan Afridi told the House during question hour that potentially 116 units were generating pollution in these sectors.

The minister said that steel-melting furnaces had been identified as the major source of pollution. He said Pak-EPA had closed down four furnaces for causing excessive pollution and issued orders for installation of anti-pollution equipment in all the steel furnaces operating in the industrial areas of I-9 and I-10. The problem, however, still exists since the owners use dirty scrap and don’t operate the anti-pollution equipment on a regular basis. However, he said, at the time of monitoring, these units use clean scrap and keep the anti-pollution equipment operated.

He informed the House that the Pak-EPA had filed two cases with the Environment Protection Tribunal Lahore for action against the offenders.

He said the Capital Development Authority had not yet allotted alternative industrial plots to the industrial units and was in the process of identifying an alternative site for relocation. As soon as the CDA identifies alternative site, the polluting industrial units will be shifted there, he assured.

As per provisions of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, the Environment Ministry has set the National Environmental Quality Standards (NESQS), which prescribe maximum permissible limits of pollutants. The industrial units are bound to comply with the NEQS. All new industrial units have to prepare Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of their units before construction, and the compliance of the NEQS is ensured while issuing them environmental approval.

As per instructions of the Environment Ministry, the monitoring of industrial units is carried out by the provincial EPAs, as the Environment Ministry has delegated powers of the Environment Protection Act, 1997, to the provincial governments.

The field inspectors of the EPAs visit the treatment plants of industrial units periodically in order to ensure their functioning and undertake the sampling of treated effluents where necessary. However, due to shortage of field inspectors in the EPAs, periodic monitoring could not be streamlined.
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