Decision to convene Marine Pollution Control Board moot welcomed
A non-governmental organisation has welcomed the government’s move to convene a meeting of the Marine Pollution Control Board after a long time with the problem of sea pollution become an alarming issue for the country.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Naeem Qureshi, the president of the National Forum for Environment and Health, expressed serious concerns over the unchecked discharge of 550 million gallons of waste into sea on a daily basis without any treatment.
He said all three sewage treatment plants of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board were non-functional and the Sindh government on its part had failed to install a treatment plant in any of the industrial estates of the city.
The NFEH chief said owing to this persisting sorry state of affairs, marine life had virtually become extinct in up to 20 nautical miles area from the coastline of Karachi.
He said the Pakistani economy would suffer a serious setback if there was no check on the rampantly increasing marine pollution as shrimp exports would decline while there could be ban imposed again by the European Union on imports of seafood from Pakistan.
He appealed to the Sindh chief minister and presidents of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to take action on an emergency basis so that treatment plants should be installed in all industrial zones of the city in collaboration with the private sector.
The NFEH president also appealed to the chairmen of the Karachi Port Trust and the Port Qasim to take the required measures so that pollutants were not discharged into the open sea.
He said all agencies concerned and the government had to sit together to find a practical solution to this alarming issue as otherwise constant damage to environment would translate into colossal loss to the Pakistani economy depriving it of income of millions of dollars on annual basis. He also feared that thousands of people would be rendered jobless due to the menacing issue of sea pollution.
Qureshi expressed hope that the Marine Pollution Control Board would take effective steps to rectify the situation.