Saturday, August 12, 2006

KARACHI: Centre urged to help fight fuel-based pollution

KARACHI, Aug 11: The clean air coordination committee of the city government on Friday urged the federal government to take measures to reduce sulphur quantity in petroleum products to contain environmental pollution and save human health.

The meeting held here with the committee chairman and City Nazim Syed Mustafa Kamal in the chair noted that in Pakistan, fuel had the highest quantity of sulphur, one of the major sources of air pollution, than any other country of the world.

It decided to formally request the federal government through a letter to take steps to reduce the sulphur quantity to control pollution especially in Karachi, where environmental pollution was on the rise with the increase in its population.

The meeting stressed the need for making motor vehicle fitness section more effective and called for setting time frame of its privatisation as it had been, in principle, to give the section to private sector.

It was told that talks were under way in this context with a Malaysian firm while land had been allotted at the city government-run bus terminal for establishing the section.

After the privatisation of motor vehicle fitness section, the menace of smoke-emitting vehicles, the major cause of air pollution, could be properly checked.

The meeting also discussed imposing ban on plastic bags and decided to put a ban on the same gradually and increase their weight and price to discourage its use.

It was observed that with the increase in the process of plastic bags, people would use them repeatedly and this would eventually eliminate the problems of choked sewerage lines and pollution. It also considered improving CNG vehicles and called for installing converters in such vehicles.

Speaking on the occasion, City Nazim Mustafa Kamal assured that the recommendations from experts to control pollution and save human health from its hazardous effects would be mulled over and implemented.

He asked the committee members to submit their recommendations so that they could be included in the agenda for next meeting. The nazim stressed the need for step-wise progress towards the betterment of the environment.

Mr Kamal said that the city government was making efforts to improve the transport system and make it environment-friendly. For the purpose, new buses would be inducted gradually on the city roads.

He said that the city government was making efforts to bring Karachi at par with international standards in terms of environment to provide citizens with healthy atmosphere.

DIG Traffic Falak Khurshid told the meeting that the government had introduced new four-stroke CNG rickshaws while two-stroke rickshaws had been given one-year deadline to get their engines changed to environment-friendly ones. Action would be taken against them after one year, he added

It was decided that the recommendations would be considered in next the meeting of the committee and implementation of its decisions would be made sure.

Representatives of the city government Mass Transit Cell, transport and communications department, Suparco, Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan, Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), NED’s environmental engineering department, Aga Khan University’s health sciences department, Urban Resource Centre, Pakistan Environmental Assessment Association, KCCI, Karachi Transport Ittehad, IUCN, Sindh Transport Department, Automobile Corporation of Pakistan and others attended the meeting.—PPI

Copyright C. PakSEF 2002 - 2006

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