Establish combined effluent treatment plant: CM Baqar

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KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (Retd) Maqbool Baqar presiding over a meeting has directed the industries department to start inspection of industrial units to check safety hazards at the production units.

The interim CM ordered the industries department to set up a combined effluent treatment plant at Sindh Industrial and Trading Estate (SITE) to clear toxic chemicals from industrial waste before discharge into sewerage system.

Toxic industrial waste released directly into sewerage system and the Korangi, Malir, Lyari nullahs end up in the sea, poisoning the seafood and entering the food chain.

The CM directed the industries department to establish a Combined Effluent Treatment Plant at SITE Karachi. It was pointed out that a scheme for Combined Treatment Plant for Hyderabad and Sukkur has also been made for Rs3.4 billion for which Rs25 million has been allocated in the current budget. Since the cost of both the treatment plants has escalated, a summary has been floated for approval of additional funds outside the budget.

He also directed the authorities concerned to functionalise health facilities in the industrial areas, digitalising the record of all the plots in the Sindh Industrial and Trading Estate (SITE) and small industrial estates and activate printing and stationary wing for the printing of textbooks.

He issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of the industries department here at CM House.

Inspection

Minister for Industries Younis Dhaga told the CM that there were 4,000 industrial units registered with the industries department.

He pointed out that the Nooriabad Industrial Estate has no firefighting arrangement even it has no health facilities to carry the patients in case of any incident.

At this, the CM directed the chief secretary to either connect the Rescue 1122 facility at Industrial Areas or provide them with fire tenders and establish health facilities at the industrial estates.

The CM said that various industrial estates have hospitals, but they were not functional properly.

The interim CM said that the industries department must play its active and due role after witnessing the Baldia Factory tragedy.

He directed the industries department to inspect all the industrial units to check for safety hazards.

He added that most of the factories have not developed systems used to prevent and control hazards, therefore they must be put in place for the safety of the workers.

He also pointed out that the industrial plots have been illegally converted into warehouses, therefore necessary action must be taken.

Justice Baqar said that most industries were not paying minimum wage to their workers and even denying them overtime.

These all issues could be settled or redressed by conducting inspections.

He directed the industries department to develop a proforma for inspections so that all the safety issues, the condition of the building, and the facilities for the workers could be covered.

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