Industrial waste: Sundar Estate directed to install Rs1b treatment plant

Officials asked to provide alternative if funds not available; Nehla drain access issue not taken up.


Our Correspondent August 05, 2012

LAHORE: Sundar Industrial Estate (SIE) has been directed to install a waste water treatment plant.

SIE, having 203 industrial units in 2007, is situated 45km off Raiwind Road. It was set up on 1,603 acres.

Currently, only one factory in the industrial estate has a waste water treatment plant.

A commission, including SIE officials, Environmental Protection Department (EPD) officials, and Commissioner Jawad Rafique Malik took the decision last week.

The committee was created two weeks ago after residents of Nehla village (population: 1,500) complained to the chief minister that the SIE administration was denying them access to Rohi Drain. The villagers said as a result municipal waste had inundated their houses. The committee was tasked with finding a solution to waste water treatment in the area and stop the dumping of untreated waste water in the Rohi drain.

In the recent meeting, the committee discussed the need to install a shared waste water treatment facility at the SIE premises.

However, it did not take up the matter of providing the villages a drainage solution.

Deputy District Officer (Environment) Younas Zahid said the villagers helped by a grant from the local MNA had constructed a one km drain but the SIE had not allowed them access to the drain.

SIE management pressed the need to discuss the installation of a waste water treatment.

Mian Ijaz Rasool, the SIE finance secretary, said the provincial government had agreed to provide funds to install a treatment plant in 2006 and a project digest PC-1 had also been approved for the purpose.

Rasool said Rs298 million was allocated in the budget in 2008 but the funds were never released.

P&D officials denied this.

Rasool then said the SIE did not have the funds to install the plant. He said the project cost had risen to about Rs980 million by 2010.

He said they had hired the National Engineering Consultants (NEC) to help with the project design as well as find a third party to fund the project.

Shafqatullah, the NEC general manager, said two proposals had been submitted to the SIE.

He said the Dutch government has been approached for funds but it might take up to three years to complete the project.

EPD Secretary Saeed Iqbal Wahla said a short term solution may lie in identifying industries that need to install waste water treatment plants immediately. He also asked for a fresh cost estimate.

Younas Zahid said around 50 of the 203 units needed to install waste water treatment facilities.

Wahla asked the SIE officers to come up with alternative solutions in case foreign funds were not available.

He asked them to come up with a solution to the problem faced by Nehla villager residents.

The meeting was also attended by EPA Director General Maqsood Ahmed Lakh, SIE Board of Management estate manager Athar Habib, PIDMC manager Nauman Rafique, PIEMDC Environment Officer Saadia Imam, Dr Muhammad  Javed from the Irrigation Department, P&D Director Muhammad Shahid, Industries Department Economic Advisor Javed Iqbal and EPD’s EIA Director Naseemur Rehman Shah.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2012.

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