KARACHI: The Environment Department, Government of Sindh will set up combine effluent treatment plants (CETPs) in various industrial areas of Karachi to ensure flow in the sea after cleaning of industrial effluent, which was earlier to be set up by the Industries Department.

But considering the expertise of the Environment Department, the Government of Sindh has decided that the said plants should be placed under the supervision of the Environmental Officers so that their procurement, installation, and operation are in accordance with the international environmental standards.

This was stated by Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Advisor to the Chief Minister on Law, Environment, Climate Change & Coastal Development while addressing a panel discussion organised by the Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) on the occasion of World Earth Day.

A limited number of environmental experts, environmental educators, and government officials attended the seminar, which was conducted while adopting the safety measures of Covid-19.

Murtaza Wahab said that with the funding of Rs11,800 million, the installation of CETPs in the industrial areas of the Site, Site Trans Lyari, Federal B Area, North Karachi, Korangi and Landhi, the industrial wastewater from 625 factories will be discharged into the sea after being treated through CETPs, which is still being discharged directly into the sea without any treatment.

He said that the majority of the workforce of the Department of Environment and its subsidiary SEPA is specialised in environmental issues so the installation of the said treatment plants under their supervision would be more efficient so that a major source of marine pollution would be efficiently prevented.

He said that the Sindh Government was making efforts to introduce vertical tree planting in Karachi because of the scarcity of open spaces to reduce the pressure of air pollution by planting trees in large pots on all floors of private and government high-rise buildings.

The Environmental Adviser said that the Sindh Government is also at the forefront of setting up urban forests and urban forests are being introduced not only in posh but also in the middle-class areas of Karachi. In this regard, 140,000 saplings have been planted in Kidney Hill.

Earlier in his welcome address, Secretary Environment, Climate Change, and Coastal Development Muhammad Aslam Ghauri said that the growing importance of environmental protection agencies in Pakistan suggests that environmental protection has also a priority area in policymaking. It is, in fact, due to the changing demands of development on the global horizon that governments are no longer talking about development but about sustainable development, which is not possible until we ensure that our land is restored in every way possible.

Naeem Ahmad Mughal, Director General, SEPA, in his detailed presentation on the topic of restoration of the marine environment, said that the main causes of marine pollution are the flow of industrial and domestic wastewater, port activities, and dumping of the solid waste directly into the sea.

This requires industries to discharge their wastewater into the sea after treatment and local bodies to ensure the installation of treatment plants for domestic wastewater in their operations, while environmental requirements in port activities should also be fulfilled.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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