Judiciary upholds SEPA’s
KARACHI: Director Technical Sindh Environmental Protection Agency Ashiq Ali Langah has said that SEPA is bound by the court not to take any legal action against any Industry in a press briefing session on Tuesday organized by WWF -Pakistan under its ILES project success at the local hotel of Karachi.
Speaking as one of the Panelists of Provincial Environmental watchdog, Ashiq Langah revealed this reality that SEPA is working without powers that Industrial Associations filed a petition against SEPA to stop our enforcement action against any industry through courts.
Sharing his grievances with the participants He said that the Supreme Court raises the barriers for us to enforce Environmental Laws that not a single treatment plant is working here in Karachi to treat hazardous industrial chemicals. We are working as a powerless government agency then how can we serve the Public.
He lauded the Supreme Court efforts of establishing Water Commission which was headed by SC serving Justice Amir Hani Muslim, who left behind rich legacy. He requested Civil Society and Media to support SEPA to improve the law enforcement mechanism in the province.
Speaking on the occasion, Rashid Ahmed, Manager ILES WWF-Pakistan shared the project’s successes and highlighted that the project contributed towards the reduction of carbon emissions and chemical usage and promoted the efficient use of energy resources.
He further said that over 21 textile and leather industries in Pakistan have collectively saved 226.39 million rupees by implementing sustainable environmental management practices introduced by these initiatives. To enforce environmental laws and standards in Pakistan, the project built the capacity of relevant government officials and financial institutes.
Textile and leather sectors, despite being the two largest export earning sectors of the country, face several challenges such as compliance issues, availability of the raw material, and international market competition. He lauded the efforts of the government for approving a new textile policy, which envisages doubling its export target up to USD 42 billion over the next three years.
Furqan Ullah, Manager Compliance and Sustainability at one of the leading textile industries shared that the textile industry is facing multiple challenges, including gaps in environmental laws, lack of guidelines on carbon emissions, poor handling of resources and waste disposal. Through the ILES project, many of the issues have been addressed while some still need to be considered.
The textile and leather sectors are key drivers of Pakistan’s economy and contribute more than 60 percent in exports which provide employment opportunities. However, the industries employ potentially pollution-intensive processes with water discharge and use of chemicals deemed harmful for the environment. The ILES project is striving hard to build the capacity of the public and private partners, providing them with technical support to achieve sustainable industrial growth.