A meeting presided over Institutional Reforms Group Chairman MNA Ahsan Iqbal, decided on Saturday that the Environment Department be permitted to take action against factories set up in urban areas without a licence.
The units will be gradually shifted outside the city. It was decided that the factories will not be registered until they meet occupational safety requirements.
Secretaries of the departments of labour, industries and environment were told to submit recommendations for protection of workers in two days.
A committee was also constituted for resuming inspection of factories. Iqbal said that factories needed to hold regular fire drills so that labourers knew where fire exits were. Fire extinguishers also need to be provided in factories so that incidents like Kharak and Bund Road could be avoided.
Office-bearers of Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot Chambers of Commerce and Industry and representatives of labour organisations also stressed the need for raising awareness of safety regulations. Commissioner and Rescue 1122 director general were also present.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.