RAWALPINDI  -   Residents of the city have demanded the local administration to shift the industrial units working in the midst of residential colonies, risking public health and creating environmental challenges. “It becomes difficult to take a nap as the welding and cutting tools produce ear-splitting noise. Our nights are no different after day long hectic jobs as the business is carried out even in the late hours,” Salman Ahmed, a resident of Rawalpindi’s Gharib Abad locality, said while talking to APP on Sunday.

These small industries’ entrepreneurs set up in the midst of residential units should have the separate places to continue their businesses as the activities were creating traffic problems due to the movement of heavy transport vehicles, Shakeel Raza a resident of Chah Sultan said. “These business units in suburban areas are also creating environmental hazards for the dwellers,” he added. Zeeshan Kamal complained that welding and carpentry shops are found on the corner of almost every street of Chah Sultan producing unhealthy smog entering even in the houses of dwellers. Farishta Khan a 56 year old owner of a wrought iron shop said his display outlet was a legal unit falling under the commercial area of the civic body but he admitted that he was running a manufacturing unit in a rented house. Justifying this he said, “I cannot afford to have a manufacturing unit too far from the display centre as I have to fulfil customers’ demand in time.” He said he could not afford to shift his business in some other locality as it involved al lot of money, he said.

Abdul Haadi, a carpenter in the area said it was the biggest market offering dwellers of twin cities of Rawalpindi- Islamabad the furniture items at affordable rates and it was established long ago and shifting the entire market was just impossible now. The spokesperson of Environmental Protection Agency said that these iron and wood furniture manufacturing units within the housing localities had extensively contributed in polluting the environment. “We will soon launch a campaign to inform the owners that how these pollutants damage the health of inhabitants which produced while manufacturing furniture, he told. The spokesman further stated shortly EPA will launch massive operation against the small factories’ owners with the help of administration of Rawalpindi Development Authority. When contacted RDA, spokesperson Hafiz Muhammad Irfan said that they often take action against such violations of practicing industrial work in the inhabited areas but law-violators keep emerging as they have moveable machines so they hide during operation and settle back afterwards. “We will send a proposal to higher authorities for providing separate market to the owners of the small industrial units away from the residential area,” the official added.