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PHC requested to take suo moto notice of toxic emissions

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN), am an organisation working for a clean environment, on Tuesday requested the Peshawar High Court (PHC) to take suo moto notice of the toxic emissions.

A press release said lately, it has been observed that positive gains to improve air quality in KP have been rolled back. Reportedly, the toxic emissions from the industrial estate have returned to perilous levels.

It said consequently, the black fumes engulf the entire area blocking the majestic Tatara Mountains view bordering the western border of Peshawar.

It is to be noted that during the 2020 Covid period, there was a brief improvement in the Peshawar skyline as both industrial and vehicular emissions were curtailed.

Later, as industrial and business activities were resumed, the civil society members collectively appealed to the chief secretary to keep emissions under check in the larger interest of public health. The chief secretary summoned the environmental activists for a meeting with relevant government depart ments to chart out a strategy for healthy and clean air in KP.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) played a positive role under the leadership of both chief secretary and former secretary environment Shahidullah Khan who directed EPA to take firm measures to improve the ambient air quality in Peshawar.

The press release said regular consultative meetings were held under the environment secretary with relevant department heads, representatives of industrial estate units and the civil society to explore various measures to control emissions.

It alleged that this effort was rolled back under the influence of a powerful lobby based in the Industrial Estate.

The transfer of Environment Secretary Shahidullah Khan to Balochistan has raised many questions behind his sudden departure, having professionally steered an inactive EPA towards proactive measures in dealing with a serious public health issue. As per EPA laboratory reports, Medium Density Fiber particulate emissions from unregulated Chipboard units range between 10,000PPM – 22,000 PPM. Permissible limit is 300PPM.

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