The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has conducted personal hearings of a number of industries in Nooriabad Industrial Zone and warned their owners and managements that their factories will be sealed off if they fail to comply. not environmental laws.
The industrialists were ordered to appear before Chief Executive Naeem Mughal at SEPA headquarters in Karachi to explain why they had not obtained prior clearance from the agency before building their units.
One industry owner told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity that nearly all factory owners and managers who attended the hearings agreed to submit environmental review reports to SEPA.
“We have informed the DG that we have obtained all approvals as per SITE instructions and that we are ready to also submit Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports at the earliest,” he said. -he declares.
However, a source claimed the DG seemed adamant that he would seal the factories. A SEPA official, who also asked not to be named, told The Express Tribune that action had been taken by SEPA after the Sindh High Court (SHC) June 22 order.
The CHS had ordered SEPA to collect water samples from all industrial units in Nooriabad and submit the analysis reports to the court. “That the EIA of all such units in Nooriabad be made,” the order reads.
However, the CHS order nowhere asks SEPA to take enforcement action like plant closures also where owners have assured that they will submit environmental assessment reports as required by the Environmental Assessment Act 2014. environmental protection of Sindh.
DG Mughal did not respond to calls or respond to questions submitted by text message as to why factories ensuring rapid compliance would be threatened with sealing.
The factories were notified last month for personal hearings under section 21(1) of the act. “No proponent of a project shall commence construction or operation unless it has filed with the provincial agency an initial environmental review or, where the project is likely to cause an adverse environmental effect, a EIA,” the reviews read.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4e2022.