Industrial expansion, unplanned construction, illegal encroachment and negligent behaviour of authorities in the absence of any clear policy has rendered Karachi’s environmental situation critical.
This was said by Sindh Minister for Environment Sheikh Muhammad Afzal on Friday.
He was speaking to residents and environmentalists who had gathered at District Municipal Corporation South’s Sports’ Academy to plant over 200 trees and plants, as part of a campaign of planting 5,000 plants.
Afzal said that those responsible for contaminating Keenjhar Lake with toxic materials will be brought to justice. Despite attempts to curb illegal cutting of mangroves people were doing so with the support of ‘powerful’ people.
The president of National Forum for Environment and Health, Naeem Qureshi, said that it is the responsibility of the government, non-governmental organisations, industrial associations and citizens to help with environmental initiatives. “Such activities should be organised throughout the year.”
Dr Qaiser Waheed of Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association also appealed to the government to ban the movement of open garbage trucks that inadvertently end up leaving a trail of trash and pollution behind them.
South Municipal Commissioner Noman Arshad emphasised the role of politicians and the government in city planning and urged the citizens to take part in taking care of their neighbourhoods.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.