According to the Pakistan Observer, despite the ‘warnings and mild actions’ of the authorities, the alleged pyrolysis plants mafia is running its dirty business in the City to pollute the environment.
Pakistan’s Pyrolysis Plants Continue to Pollute
The functioning of such plants boosts calls from Lahore Commissioner Capt. (retd) Muhammad Usman Younas for the demolition of such plants, but also of the Prime Minister, who has a deep concern about air pollution.
The news outlet states that these plants are one of the major reasons for smog in the provincial capital. Moreover, such plants are also in full swing in Gujranwala, the hometown of EPD minister Muhammad Rizwan, and in the Sheikhupura district.
Because of their toxic and hazardous emissions, the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had sealed them several times in the past, but owners of these plants used to restart their business after removing seals and with the connivance of the authorities concerned.
In October 2021, the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) banned all industries involved in contributing to smog, including brick kilns, furnace mills, and pyrolysis plants.
All the departments concerned were also directed to play their due role in curbing the smog by stopping the smog-causing factors. After the directions of authorities, many industrial units stopped their work or installed systems to minimise the emission of toxic smoke.
To curb the growing threat of smog, PDMA, along with the Lahore deputy commissioner, formed different squads to take action against all the polluters.
These anti-smog squads comprised of officials from EPA, Water and Sanitation Agency, Municipal Corporation Lahore and other departments sealed a score of industrial units found in violation. Then authorities adopted a new strategy and started demolishing several smog-causing units. The smog squads claimed to demolish all tyre pyrolysis plants in Lahore.
According to the statements issued by Commissioner Lahore and Deputy Commissioner Lahore offices all 18 pyrolysis plants working in the Mehmood Booti area had been demolished under the supervision of Shalimar Town’s Assistant Commissioner Tehniyat Bukhari. These plants include MSRR, MS Haroon Farooq, MS Shoiab, Saleem Roshan, MS Tayyab, MS Daud, MS Azeem Kasuri, MS Waqas Akbar, MS Gohar Ali, Sohail, Ayaz, Naeem Haron, Saleem, Zulfiqar, Ahmed Butt, MS Sheikh Irfan, Ramzan and others.
During The Pakistan Observer’s visit to the area, it could be seen that many plants had restarted their business. Looking at the plants’ condition, nobody would guess that they were ever demolished by any authority.
Sources informed that the smog squad showed its aggressive operation against such plants in videos and pictures, but they didn’t break the major parts like reactors, catalytic chambers, cooling tubes, heavy tanks, and others. “Plants owners, soon after the operation again restarted their work after minor repairing,” they said.
When contacted the Punjab Secretary for the Environment, Syed Mubasher Hussain said that his department was not solely taking action in this regard but working in collaboration with the Commissioner’s office.
He was of the view that it was not possible to restart this business once the squad demolishes the illegal construction of any factory involved in illegal business. He said that squad also submits pictorial evidence of its action against such elements.