T

he government of Pakistan may be trying to expand its maritime presence but the authorities still lack the understanding and the mechanism required to keep such services up to date. The oil spill on the Balochistan and Sindh coastal line has still not been managed despite the pleas from the locals. It is not only affecting the marine life and polluting the waters but also prohibiting the local tourism towards that area because the government has not managed to alert the relevant department to take control of the situation. The longer the government waits, the more damage the area will have to endure.

There is a delay because the report of this incident has still not been filed. This makes it quite evident that a lot of problems in the country are not resolved due to red tape. Local fishermen are losing their daily livelihoods due to the spillage and the 300 meters coast which was once home to marine animals, is now nothing but black. In order to preserve the area, swift action is required. A country which is already at a disadvantage due to the lack of awareness of climate change and is on the list of the countries to be adversely affected by it, such mishaps do not have any place because

At the same time, if a pipeline was being constructed in the area, it was the responsibility of the administration to take into account such mishaps. A team should have been on the ground with an action plan ready to preserve the natural habitat of the marine animals. Underwater pipelines have a very great chance of such oil spills. Taking on such mega initiatives comes with understanding the responsibility towards the environment and taking measures accordingly.

Those responsible for this sluggish attitude must be held responsible. The government should only grant no objection certificates to those construction businesses which have a concrete plan, even for times of mishaps. A temporary ban must be placed on activities in the area to manage the problem efficiently and to avoid future mishaps, proper checks and balances must be introduced. Projects which can hamper the stability of the environment should come with fines in order to emphasise on the need to preserve the natural order of the environment. The company involved in the project must be fined because no action has been taken so far.