islamabad-Rapidly increasing industrial pollution is posing a serious health hazard to the lives of the residents of sector I-9 and I-10 in the capital city of Islamabad.  

According to a report on Monday, pollution is one of the major contributors to air and water pollution which is resulting from increasing chemicals and industrial emissions in I-9, I-10 sectors and the condition of these areas is worsening on a daily basis, making it almost impossible for visitors to breathe due to pollution. Sector I-9 holds a special significance not only for the capital, but across the country, because of its industrial contributions.

While surveying about the severe environmental problems in both the sectors, selected residents unanimously said that air pollution was the biggest threat to the lives of residents of these areas. “Pollution caused by the industrial units in Sector I-9 and I-10 continues to go unchecked, under the nose of official monitoring departments, adding known and unknown hazards to health of the citizens.  Unfortunately, the capital is facing  growing environmental problems because of industries emitting pollution near residential areas of Sector I-9 and I -10 in particular which are among the worst affected by industrial pollution,” said Zafar, a resident of sector I-9.

The sector houses a number of private and public sector organizations and its offices, including Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), I-9 police station, railway station, dry port, National Savings Bank, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL), and various public sector educational institutions, while the CDA weekly bazaar is also held there every Tuesday.

Besides a number of industrial units, automobile workshops have also been established in the jurisdiction. Around 500 factories in the industrial estates are polluting the air and water in Sector I-9, 204 are manufacturing units, including eight steel melting furnaces, 11 re-rolling mills, 25 flour mills, five oil and ghee mills, 31 marble cutting and polishing units and 23 metal working and engineering units, which do not have adequate facilities for treatment of waste emissions.

However, a majority of the steel mills failed to install anti-pollution equipment, while those installed were either not working or were only partially effective. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should ask the owners of industrial units, particularly all steel melting furnaces in the Industrial Estate Islamabad to install efficient devices to control pollution in the capital.

A lot of complaints have been lodged regarding pollution caused by the industrial estates but Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) failed to take any action against them. The EPA refused to give any statement regarding the issue.