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LAHORE: A civil society organization (Citizens for Environment) has urged the government not to give in to coal importers for getting the ban on coal handling at Karachi Port Trust lifted just to save their costs because it is very damaging for the environment of the city and to the health of citizens.

Dr Syed Raza Ali Gardezi General Secretary, Citizens for Environment said that according to media reports some coal importers have been persuading the government to resume coal-handling at KPT. “The government must not bow down to the lobbies that prefer their profits over human lives,” he added.

It may be noted that the then Chief Justice (CJ) Supreme Court Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the shifting of coal handling to Port Qasim in 2018 while hearing a Suo Motu notice at the Karachi registry. “That was a very humane decision of the Supreme Court to move the handling of imported coal from KPT considering acute threats to the lives of Karachiites. So the coal importers who want the government to resume coal handling at KPT for their personal gains are completely ignoring the dangers this activity poses to the citizens’ lives,” said Dr. Gardezi.

He added that the adjacent areas of KPT are now completely safe from the threats of coal handling at KPT - thanks to the Supreme Court. “Air quality and cleanliness of the roads have improved manifold while there is a significant decrease in the respiratory health issues of the locals,” he added.

Director Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Imran Sabir has said that SEPA submitted a report to the Supreme Court in 2014 suggesting safety measures to KPT for safe coal handling.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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