SC issues notices over alleged environmental pollution at Port Qasim

Petitioner seeks contempt of court proceedings against Port Qasim chairperson

​ Our Correspondent August 20, 2019

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) issued notices on Monday to the local government secretary, Pakistan railways, Sindh environment department and others over the contempt of court petition against the Port Qasim chairperson pertaining to unsafe transportation of coal and environmental pollution at the port.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah heard the case at the SC's Karachi registry.

The petitioner's counsel maintained that environmental pollution was a grave problem for the metropolitan city. Former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar had directed the management of Port Qasim to store coal safely, said the counsel. However, he argued, despite court orders, the coal at Port Qasim remains under the open sky while the unsafe transportation of coal was leading to the spread of dangerous diseases.

Justice Shah remarked that the court had bound them to a specified limit of coal at the terminal and to not keep more coal than the specified limit. "We will also summon the civil administration and ask what arrangements have been made," he said.

The bench issued notices to the relevant parties and granted time to Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT), the coal handling company, to submit their response by the next hearing.

Petitioner Venu Adwani maintained that coal was being transported from Port Qasim in open vehicles. The petition stated that despite requests to all authorities, none was willing to take action. The petitioner prayed the court that contempt of court proceedings be carried out against the Port Qasim chairman for neglecting court orders.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2019.

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