The plight of urbanisation: Faisalabad on the brink of environmental collapse

Astonishingly, instead of providing requests funds and utilisation of the costly machinery as per its mandates the high-up of the Punjab Environmental Department (PEA) has shifted the staff of the laboratory to different offices of the Punjab Environmental Department.
An employee of the lab, on the condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the laboratories were set up in six district of the province with a cost of Rs20 million.
He also pointed out that keeping in view the pollution situation in Faisalabad, the lab was set up but no efforts were made to make it operational.
“Lahore top officers of the PEA have always created impediments in the operation of lab and ultimately succeeded in rendering inoperative for indefinite period.” “Now all the samples for appropriate analyses of the gravity of pollution of air and water of the factories and other units are being sent to head office.
And that too at the discretion of the head office thus providing freehand to the pollution created units owners to play havoc to the public health with impunity,” he remarked.
The city has emerged as the one of leading victim of hepatics diseases due to poor water quality as every fourth citizen is suffering from this disease which also made it the city with highest death rate in the country.
Waterborne diseases in the city are over 25% to 35% of all hospital cases and 60% infant deaths.” “The worst conditions are prevailing in the rural area of the district where majority of population lives.
Consequently, polluted water is playing more havoc on the people living in villages who fell prey to a number diseases like tuberculosis, cancer, heart, Respiratory, high blood pressure, typhoid, stomach problems, kidney problem, food poisoning and skin problem and hepatitis,” he added.
Likewise, according to the survey conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) about plight of Faisalabad environment, the environmental standards are only enforced by those who are involved in exports (as a mandatory requirement) while the rest of the industry does not have any binding.
There is a noticeable evidence that the wastewater is flowing out of industrial units without undergoing any treatment process and local doctors have complained about the adverse impact on human health.” Similarly, according to the Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) survey, almost 74,000 people in Faisalabad are affected with hepatitis B and approximately 524,000 contact hepatitis C annually.

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