WE ALL know that pollution causes global warming which needs to be arrested forthwith if we want to protect our marine life and coastal resources. It has been observed that industries located near rivers and sea release their polluted/ contaminated water in rivers or sea without treatment. This is the main cause of depletion of marine life. I think that Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency and respective provincial agencies are keeping their eyes closed on this very serious issue. Discharge of waste oil by ships has become a routine practice but no one is pushed to take action against them.
It is similar to deforestation which is another contributory factor in depletion of natural resources. These all factors result in cyclones, tsunamis, floods, torrential rains and hurricanes, adversely affecting livelihood of poor masses living in rural areas of Pakistan.
I want to narrate an incident of 1987 when I was attending a naval course in the US. A ferry loaded with compressed solid industrial waste was sent to sea for dumping but was not allowed and return to harbour with same load. Eventually the industrial solid waste was burnt in incinerators. There is a dire need by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency to launch a nationwide campaign to educate all stakeholders through electronic media on regular basis.
The environmental protection agency must enforce vigilance checks on all industries and test the samples of water taken out from their outlets. Defaulters must be punished without any discrimination. This will help a lot in minimising pollution in rivers and sea.
I also appeal to the authorities concerned at federal and provincial levels to come forward to effectively check all malpractices by any industrialist, forester and shipper.
Lt-Cdr (Rtd) Riaz Akbar
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