KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday directed the Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC), Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) to submit comments on a petition against dumping of sewage and industrial waste into the Arabian sea.
The court also asked that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) should be made respondent in the case as it is the regulatory authority and takes measures for protection of environment.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan), Citizens for Better Environment (Shehri - CBE), Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and Karachi citizens namely Maheen Zia, Mahera Umer, Yaminay Choudhary and Waqar Ahmed seeking a ban on release of industrial waste and sewage into the sea. The Petitioners, represented by Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Barrister M. Jaffer Raza, stated that the acts and omissions of the respondents are destroying the marine life and disturbing the ecological balance and oversight of the respondents is affecting the health of the citizens who visit Seaview for recreation purposes. They also said that along the beach locals commonly find corpses of endangered green turtles and other cetaceans which die due to water pollution. Pictures taken from Google Earth clearly show that the water around Seaview appears dirty and dark in color whereas water around the beach at other coastal areas of Pakistan such as Gwadar looks blue and clear. The petitioners requested to the Court that respondents may be directed to permanently refrain from dumping the sewage and industrial waste into the sea.
Commenting on the issue, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General WWF-Pakistan said that Karachi is blessed with a coastline, which has over decades attracted tourists, traders, merchants, fishermen and people from all segments and classes of society. He also said that WWF-Pakistan is deeply concerned about the acts and attitude of the respondents which are seriously harming the environment and more specifically the coastline of Karachi. He also informed that it is discovered that two sewage and industrial waste dumps have been installed at Seaview. One of them is located near Mc Donald's and other is located near Chunky Monkey. He urged that strict legal action may be taken against the wrongdoers so that marine life is protected and health risks are reduced.
The petitioners shared that the pictures taken on-site and Google Earth show that the sewage and industrial dumps are installed on the beach approximately 50 meters away from the sea water. From the said dumps industrial waste and sewage openly flows into the sea, merging with the sea water and contaminating it. This flow of industrial waste and sewage is open and uncovered that besides contaminating the sea also creates an unbearable stench in the entire area which is in infringement of the fundamental rights of citizens.
Published in Daily Times, August 10th 2017.