The City District Government of Lahore has recently launched a crackdown on polluting industries located in residential areas and sealed as many as seven such factories on Bund Road and Daroghawala.
The factories burn tyres to melt the iron which is later used to produce steel. However, such burning of tyres causes severe environmental pollution in the city.
Apart from public health issues, the burning of tyres in factories has certain aspects which are mentioned here for consideration by the authorities concerned.
Used tyres are an environmental hazard and if not disposed of properly may provide abode to parasites with dangerous diseases. Limiting the burning of tyres could be a possible solution to the reduction of environmental pollution. The City District Government of Lahore may explore the possibilities with the help of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as with other experts.
Some of these factories were established at a time when the location was outside the municipal limits. Over the time, the city has been urbanised and, in the process, engulfed many areas which were previously not within the citys boundaries. Often, in such situations, it is said that the industries located in the residential areas may be shifted through administrative orders to places outside the city or to some planned industrial estates. Such actions are easier said than done.
The provincial departments, the CDGL, the LCCI, the workers and the public have to pay attention to these issues. A number of incentives such as cheap land, industrial infrastructure, including all utilities, roads and financial assistance, may have to be provided to relocate the industrial capacity as well as the workers.
Lahore is not the only city faced with a large number of polluting industries located in residential areas. This perhaps is true of all major cities in the country. The problem needs a proper solution which may be possible if the authorities concerned and all other stakeholders are willing to work together in a positive framework for the greater good of the country and its people.
M. BASHIR CHAUDHRY
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