In a joint operation, the Punjab Environment Protection Department (Pakistan) the administration of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad and the police bulldozed nine pyrolysis plants that produce oil and carbon by burning car tyres at the Margalla Hills and arrested two suspects over violation of environment laws
According to The Express Tribune, around 400 tonnes of toxic carbon and 10 drums of oil produced from the pyrolysis plants were also seized during the joint raid.
The operation was supervised by EPD Deputy Director Maria Bibi and the Taxila Assistant Commissioner who were accompanied by a heavy contingent of police from Islamabad and Rawalpindi, in mid-October.
The establishment of these plants has been banned by the federal and provincial governments.
Despite the ban, residents of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had built these clandestine plants in the hills of Margalla, against whom a major operation was conducted as the result of information received by the authorities.
The EPD deputy director said the anti-smog operation was going on across the district. “Pyrolysis plants and stone crusher machines will not be allowed to be installed in the areas at the junction of the twin cities. Both of these produce toxic types of smog, which cannot be allowed,” she said.
“Now we are also taking action against smoke-emitting vehicles, brick kilns and factories,” she added. “Several kilns have been demolished in the district and heavy penalties will now be imposed.”
“By installing these plants at the confluence of the twin cities, the mafia takes advantage of the boundaries of the twin cities,” she said. “Now we have started joint operations in such areas to counter such activities,” she added.