The commercialization of residential areas in inner city Karachi has long been a growing problem. Inner city areas such as Lyari, Sadder, North Nazimabad, MA Jinnah Road and others have been commercialized to the point where living in these areas has come to pose serious health hazards to the residents, warehouses, automobiles workshops and factories emitting toxic fumes and waste such as sulphur and lead particles, combined with vehicles emitting deadly carbon monoxide is causing environmental pollution.

There are an estimated 600 manufacturing units in these areas, including ginning mills, steal and recycling factories, plastic goods factories and chemical factories without proper provision for the disposal of industrial waste, these units discharge lethal level of pollutants. The ill-effects of these pollutants include the onset of respiratory ailments, infections, kidney failure and even cancer among exposed population.

Children are believed to be at a much greater risk of contracting this disease than adults living in these areas. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act of 1977 prohibits the setting up of manufacturing units in residential areas, but its provisions have remained uninformed. It is the responsibility of districts Government to overcome these increasing numbers of factories in residential areas. Commercialization of residential areas, even if such development contributes to the exchequer in terms of taxes, can’t be justified.

ALMAS UR REHMAN SHAFI,

Karachi, April 29.