Supreme Court orders action against air pollution

Petitioner says that despite judicial orders, no steps are being taken to control air pollution


​ Our Correspondent December 25, 2019
PHOTO: Reuters

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) directed the Sindh Home Department Secretary and the Sindh Inspector General Police on Tuesday to take action against air pollution caused due to coal consumption. A two-member bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was hearing the plea pertaining to the reduction of air pollution at the SC Karachi Registry.

Petitioner Advocate Venu Kumar Adwani maintained that despite judicial orders, no steps were being taken to control air pollution. He argued coal storage should be monitored at government level and vehicles that don’t adhere to environmental guidelines should not be loaded with coal.

The SBIT officials informed the court that loading is carried out when steps are taken against pollution. They maintained that they are not responsible for when the vehicles are on the road.

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The petitioner argued that those selling their product [through these vehicles] are also responsible. He maintained that the SBIT should bound industrials with regards to environmental pollution. It spreads from the berth to the railway tracks, he said.

Port Qasim authorities told the court that a project to lay out a track from the berth is being pursued and will be completed in 12 to 18 months after the approval of the PC-1.

The court remarked that dumper vehicles should ensure compliance with environmental guidelines when carrying coal from the storage. The bench observed that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) was responsible for bounding industries to take steps against air pollution caused due to coal consumption. The court directed SEPA to monitor the storage of coal and visit coal consumer industries while directing coal consuming industries to also adhere to environmental rules.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2019.

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