KARACHI: The Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has proposed the formation of a separate police force for the implementation of environmental protection laws in the province. Sepa has sent the recommendations for the formation of the environmental police force to the chief minister. The force will be formed after approval from the cabinet.
According to the proposal, the force, comprising 200 personnel will be trained by the Sindh Police Department and would be responsible for ensuring that environmental protection laws in Sindh are followed in letter and spirit.
The proposed police force would have the authority to take penal action against individuals as well as private and public agencies causing environmental pollution. The environmental police will also be authorised to register FIRs, raid and arrest violators of rules under the Environmental Protection Act. Police stations of the environmental police will be established in all divisions of the province. A grade-19 officer will be deputed as the provincial head of the environmental police force, while each division will be supervised by a DSP. Besides, each police station will have one inspector and around 15 police officials. A police mobile will also be provided to each police station.
According to Sepa officials, they have suggested the establishment of two police stations in Karachi. Sepa’s secretary, Khan Muhammad Mahar told The Express Tribune that the environmental police force is being formed in light of the recommendations made by the Judicial Commission on Water and Sanitation. The documentation has been completed in this regard and the appointment process will be started after approval from the CM and the cabinet.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2019.