KARACHI: Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has asked Port Qasim Authority (PQA) to ensure environmental compliance while unloading soybean cargo, officials said on Saturday.
In a letter sent to PQA, the SEPA said that an incident was occurred on February 16, 2020 at Kemari and in the vicinity of Karachi Port Trust regarding deterioration of Air Quality due to dust emission.
“As reported by the office of Commissioner Karachi on February 19, 2020 regarding the said incident that 10 persons died and 300 persons were affected in the area.”
The SEPA further said that International Centre of Chemical and Biological University of Karachi has reported that soybean dust containing allergies were released from the ship was the main cause of said incident. It is now learnt through reliable sources that the same ship is intended to shift to Port Qasim for its further unloading.
In this context, “it must be ensured that the dust emission expected to be emitted from the ship should be controlled for protection of human health and life.”
“All precautionary measures must be ensured, so that adverse impact does not arise to the labors working at port and the population residing in the surroundings.”
The SEPA also advised that PQA must submit plan to carryout Ambient Air Quality monitoring regularly thereby installation of Ambient Air Quality monitoring stations on permanent basis within the jurisdiction, mainly due to handling of coal and other air pollution sources including power plant and industries, as well as construction of projects.
The agency asked the PQA to ensure the environmental compliance due to port operation and other installation/industries, in true spirit for improvement of air quality within the jurisdiction of Port Qasim.