KARACHI: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) moved the Sindh High Court (SHC) against the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) for handling coal at its terminal in Shireen Jinnah Colony in violation of environmental laws, posing serious health hazards to public health.
The SEPA director general Naeem Ahmed Mughal submitted a report to a division bench of the SHC, submitting that the whole process from unloading of coal to its dumping and transportation to different industrial units involved serious environmental hazards. He said that during inspection, it was noted that the coal material which was found on the berth and jetty flowed into the port waters during washing or at the time of rainfall, causing marine pollution.
The SEPA DG claimed that during transportation of coal through heavy vehicles from the terminal to coal yard, covering distance of 3 to 4 kilometer, the coal dust is flown into the air due to open trucks causing air pollution throughout the route. He said that hundreds of people in this particular location could be affected from transpiatory, eye and other diseases due to the air pollution containing coal dust particles.
He said that coal dust was found in houses located in the densely populated area of Keamari and areas in close proximity to the terminal. The environmental issues relating to storage of coal were significantly adverse in nature as a huge quantity was being stored at the coal yard.
The SEPA director general claimed that the KPT had not obtained approval for operating coal handling terminal in the area.