Environmental monitoring of 30 Sugar Mills, violators should be punished, no compromise on pollution: Sindh Minister

Karachi, February 24, 2016 (PPI-OT):On the directives of Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Sindh Dr. Sikandar Mandhro, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has successfully completed the environmental monitoring of thirty Sugar Mills situated in different districts of Sindh Province. According to details teams of Regional Offices of Sindh EPA collected samples of wastewater and tested the air emissions of the Sugar Mills with stack gas analyzer. Air emission testing reports and wastewater samples are in the process of analysis in the laboratory of Sindh EPA.

Once their analysis reports are complete their emissions and wastewater release would be compared with the existing standards as laid down in Sindh Environmental Quality Standards (SEQS). Subsequently, if a Sugar Mill is found violating the different parameters of SEQS legal action would be initiated against the Sugar Mills under Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014.

It may be recalled that in 2014-15 the same exercise was done by Sindh EPA. The Sugar Mills that were found violating the SEQS were given the opportunity of Personal Hearing as per provisions of Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014. The violating Sugar Mills thereafter were directed to establish wastewater treatment plant and submit their Environmental Management Plan for compliance of Environmental Laws.

Therefore to examine if the violating Sugar Mills have compiled with the instructions issued by Sindh EPA last year their environmental monitoring was once again made on the directives of Minister for Environment and Coastal Development Sindh Dr. Sikandar Mandhro. It may be pointed out that Sugar Mills are located in various parts of Sindh reportedly discharge their untreated wastewater in open drains and contaminate the surface water quality by degrading the presence of oxygen in water. Resultantly the survival of aquatic life becomes difficult.

As per usual practices of these Mills they store their wastewater into unlined ponds around their Mills and by this practice the pollutants of the wastewater percolate beneath the ground and contaminate ground water quality. The water is reportedly used by the local communities living around these Mills for their consumption and livestock which poses adverse impacts on their health.

Dr. Sikandar Mandhro directed concerned authorities to implement the Sindh Environmental Protection Act with letter and spirit. He warned that violators should be punished accordingly, adding that we could not compromise any kind of pollution on cost of lives of peoples, animals, trees and earth.

For more information, contact:
Information and Archives Department
Directorate of Press Information
Government of Sindh
95-Sindh Secretariat 4-B, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-99204423, +92-21-99204401
Website: http://sindhinformation.gos.pk