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Karachi

February 17, 2017

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Six factories shut over environmental pollution

Six factories shut over environmental pollution

Decision taken after representatives fail to
prove to Sepa they weren’t polluting rivers

The province’s environmental watchdog has shut down six factories in different industrial areas of Karachi after their representatives failed to prove that they were not responsible for polluting the Lyari and Malir rivers.

After hearing the arguments of representatives of the factories accused of pollution, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) took action under Section 21 of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014.

The watchdog directed them to immediately close down their operations because they were discharging untreated industrial effluent into the rivers, a Sepa official told The News.

The factories ordered to halt production include pharmaceutical companies, textile factories, ghee and oil mills, and lubricant and steel factories located in SITE, Bin Qasim, Korangi, Landhi, North Karachi and Federal B Industrial areas.

The watchdog also directed another 24 companies and firms to submit reports of their environmental audit within 30 days, while CEOs of eight companies were asked to appear before the Sepa director general within the next two days and prove to him that they were not damaging the environment.

The Sepa official said they had issued notices to 107 factories and industries in Karachi for violating environmental laws, and polluting air and water by discharging industrial effluent into the environment without treatment.

Representatives of 37 of the 107 factories and industries appeared before the Sepa DG at his office and cleared their position, while the remaining would appear before the environmental watchdog in the coming days.

The factories ordered to halt their production were Ahmed Oils in SITE Area, Towellers Limited in North Karachi, Tabraiz Pharma in Federal B Area, IFFCO, Envion Fats and Oil in Port Qasim, Diamond Textiles in SITE Area and Latte Colson in FB Area.

Sepa had already sealed a major textile factory in Karachi a few weeks ago for causing extreme environmental pollution in the SITE Industrial Area using its coal-fired power plant to generate electricity.

“Factories and industries that have been asked to halt their production would have to face serious consequences if they don’t follow Sepa’s orders,” warned the watchdog official.

Sepa also issued a fresh Environmental Protection Order (EPO) to 24 factories and industries across the province, stating that they should immediately take steps to reduce environmental pollution or be prepared to face the consequences, which include closure of production in accordance with environmental laws.

“Sepa has also issued EPOs and warnings to many municipal authorities, including District Municipal Corporations in Karachi as well as cantonment boards, to improve their practice of disposing of solid and domestic waste,” said the official. The watchdog official added that many other stakeholders and utilities had also been warned to mend their ways and stop polluting the environment.

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