Our staff Reporter

SIALKOT

The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has demanded immediate closure of all the petrol pumps, CNG filling stations established in residential areas of Sialkot city to save lives.

Addressing a largely attended press conference at SCCI on Monday, SCCI President Fazal Jillani expressed grave concern over the burning of several houses during an inferno at a filling station located in the city's thickly populated Model Town locality on the night between Saturday and Sunday. The whole filling station reduced to ashes along with some houses in the surroundings. The fire incidents exposed the vulnerability and threat to the residents of Model Town Society, however, luckily no loss of life occurred in the incident.

"We condemned the fire incident at petrol pump near Model Town and demand its closure and relocation to the outskirts of the city," the SCCI president declared.

Mr Jillani informed, "We as a part of business community have conveyed our concerns to local political leadership and authorities concerned to stop the operation of all filling station and CNG stations within residential areas of city."

He said that SCCI would raise concerns over all forums to relocate the CNG stations and petrol pumps from residential areas.

On this occasion, Sialkot District Bar Association President Shahid Mir said that Environment Act 2005 clearly defined that Petrol Pumps and CNG stations should be set up at commercial areas not in residential areas.

Khawar Sapal, former vice president SCCI informed that petrol pump which was burnt in Model Town Sialkot had obtained a fake NOC from its neighbours and the authorities concerned should take action against the owner.

It has been learnt that there are 25 petrol pumps and CNG stations running 'illegally' in almost all the congested residential and thickly populated areas of Sialkot city, posing serious dangers and threats to life and property of the public.