Public-private partnership stressed for pollution control
LAHORE: Pollution is having dangerous effects not only on the country’s overall economy but also disturbing the lives of the people.
Public-private partnership could be very useful in countering alarming effects of environmental pollution. Pollution is destroying major crops and it can escalate energy issue in the country as well.
These views were shared by experts in the Jang Economic Forum on the topic of ‘Environmental Pollution and its Effects on Industrial Sector.’ The participants were Environment District Officer Muhammad Younis Zahid, former chairman Pakistan Flour Mills Association Bilal Sufi, former chairman Pakistan Tanners Association Agha Syedian, former president Sheikhupura Chambers of Commerce and Industry Manzoorul Haq Malik and chairman Environment Committee Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry Syed Muhammad Umair. Sikandar Hameed Lodhi was the host.
The participants were of the view that due to expansion of industry in urban areas, serious issues had propped up which needed timely attention of the quarters concerned before it got too late. They said that the top countries responsible for pollution in the world were America, China, European countries and India.
Former president Sheikhupura Chambers of Commerce and Industry Manzoor regretted on action taken by the government against the local industry, saying that those industries were not doing their business against the defined laws. He said issuance of notice to the industries was a matter of concern. Malik was of the view that in the whole world, people talked about establishing new industries rather than closing them off.
District Officer Environment Younis Zahid said that working in phases to control pollution was not possible. He said it was up to the government to make laws and the departments concerned were bound to implement them to control pollution related issues. He regretted that many countries had pulled out their investment from the country due to poor environment and management condition.
Younis said his department not only issued notices to the industries which violated environmental laws but also provided them with fair chance to present their point of view in front of the tribunal. He said that the government was aware of the situation and was doing its best to minimize effects of environmental pollution to increase agriculture production. He further added that two to three industrial units could establish joint treatment plants but registration was necessary for that purpose.
Bilal Sufi was of the view that controlling environmental pollution would be beneficial for all the segments of the society. He said that due to environmental pollution effects workers were facing a mental stress.
Former chairman Pakistan Tanners Association Agha Syedian said that neither the government nor was the industrial sector serious to address the environmental pollution issue. He said transport sector of the country was a major source of rising pollution by emitting carbon dioxide into the air.
Agha said provision of electricity without any break and improvement of waste management system on modern lines could reduce pollution effects.
Syed Umair said the corporate sector was aware of its responsibilities vis-à-vis controlling pollution and vowed to working shoulder to shoulder with all the stakeholders. He also opined that the government should amend 2012 Environmental Act to make it more effective.