The findings of a laboratory examination of samples of waste dumped in the open by an orange juice factory on Lahore Road have been sent to the Environment Protection Authority regional director, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The EPA regional director will forward the findings to the Court of Environmental Tribunal which then might initiate proceedings against the factory.
Talking to The Tribune, District Officer (Environment) Wajid Ijaz said the examination found harmful substances in the waste samples. He said if the Tribunal found the factory guilty of polluting the environment in the area action would be taken against it under Section 16 of the Environment Protection Act of 1997.
DO Ijaz said the factory had leased the plot where it was dumping the waste (the leftover from oranges used in the factory for production of juice).
The samples of waste dumped in a vacant plot in Chak 87 South were sent for laboratory examination on several complaints lodged by the villagers.
Talking to The Tribune, several residents of Chaks 87, 83, 84, 86, 87, 89, 90 and 92 complained that the dumping of waste near their houses was continuing. They said they had filed several complaints with the district administration and held several protest demonstrations on the Lahore Road.
Abdul Rauf Sindhu, a former union council nazim, said the villages were swarming with house flies and mosquitoes drawn by the dump. This, he said, was affecting the children the most. “Most families don’t let their children outdoors anymore. Many will catch malaria or dengue fever if we let them out in the evenings,” he said.
Muhammad Rafiq, a teacher at the elementary school in Chak 87, said the stench from the waste had affected the villages in general.
Other villagers expressed concern about the harmful substances in the waste. They said these substances could seep into the ground and affect the quality of soil.
The factory management declined comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.
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