By Our staff Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) in the wake of Clean Green Pakistan programme has promoted the concept of Green Industrial Zone in coordination with the industrial sector. Pak-EPA had conducted a detailed survey of Industrial Estate of the federal capital situated in sectors I-9, I-10 and Kahuta Triangle to identify and categorise the number and types of of industries.
An official of Pak-EPA told APP that a total of 185 industrial units were identified in I-9, I-10 and Kahuta Triangle. “Major source of air pollution are steel furnaces in Islamabad Capital Territory which are being regularly monitored by Pak-EPA through installation of cameras and online dust monitoring system,” he added. To a question, he said the Green Industrial Zone initiative aimed at increasing the plantation cover in the sector which was depleted due to massive construction and development. The initiative was launched with the assistance of the industrial community on #plant4islamabad day which was observed on April 3. While referring to the concerns of the masses about increased pollution levels due to industrial emissions, he said, “It is not a fact as the number of industries emitting smoke are not increasing day by day in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Scrubbers have also been installed for absorption of carbon from emissions.” It was, the official said modern air reverse bag technology that used accumulate dark Carbon in the vent of the furnace and later on packing up in proper bags. The packaged Carbon was then sold for Rs85,000 per 20 kilograms bag, adding since May 1 the steel mills owners had started importing the black carbon to China and other countries, he mentioned. There are 12 steel units which were causing pollution in sector I-9, I-10 despite strict monitoring and legal action, he said. However, the apex court in its order of 5th July 2010 directed cessation of operations of all Steel Mills till such time the online dust monitoring system was installed on the stacks. “Cases against two Steel Mills I.e. Modern Steel and Potohar Steel have been filed in the Environmental Protection Tribunal (EPT) which imposed fine to the tune of Rs 50,000 on each unit. During the visit of Pak-EPA monitoring team to the industrial area on 28 August 2017 three industries that is Zia Steel, Mustahkem Foundry and Silk Route Steel Mills have been found to be non compliant as the anti pollution equipment not working where Pak-EPA initiated legal action through issuance of environmental protection order and subsequent closure of tile industries through ICT administration,” he said.
Moreover, on account of non-compliance of the order of the apex court dated 30th June 2018 following four steel furnace and re-rolling Mills were sealed the same day by the agency after issuing EPO and a fine of rupees 5 million was imposed on each 1 Pak-Iron Re-Rolling and Furnace Steel Mills, Mustahkem Steel Mills (foundry), Siddiqui Steel Mills (furnace), Karachi Steel, he informed. Replying to another question, he said, “Presently, all the Steel furnaces situated in ICT have installed pollution abatement Technology and Pak-EPA regularly monitors these Steel.
units for ensuring the compliance of the national environmental quality standards (NEQS). These units are being monitored by Pak-EPA through CCTV cameras installed inside and on the rooftops of the Steel units. The Steel units are also submitting their monthly gaseous emissions report to Pak-EPA.”
The Agency, he said had notified National Environmental Quality Standards Ambient Air under Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) no. 1062 (I)/2010 and industrial gaseous emissions under SRO no. 549(I)/2000. “Every industry is liable to keep its gaseous emissions within the permissible limits notified in NEQS,” he stated.
Pak-EPA, he told this scribe conducted a 30 day ambient air quality survey of industrial areas of ICT in February 2018 where the Agency now regularly monitored industrial areas to assess the pollution status of ICT due to these industries.
In ICT, Pak-EPA, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ICCI) and all associations of industries were working together the first model green industrial zone of Pakistan and all necessary steps were being taken under the the green and clean initiative of prime minister.
“Pak-EPA is also arranging lectures, seminars and workshops regarding the use and introduction of green technologies in the industrial sector to abate air pollution within the country with ICCI,” he said.
He went on to say that in this connection a training and awareness session was conducted in Pak-EPA on 9th April 2019 wherein then 20 industries representing soap, pharmaceutical, steel flour, marble Industries and warehouses nominated by ICCI participated who were imparted awareness regarding procedural and legal requirements for compliance of the provisions of PEP Act, 1997 and rules and regulations made thereunder.