KARACHI - Sindh Environment and Climate Change Minister Muhammad Taimur Talpur has warned the industries in Karachi of closure over constant violation of the apex court-appointed water commission’s orders to install effluent plants.

“The provincial government may issue closure notices to up to 100 industries of Karachi in next 10 to 20 days for consistently failing to act upon directives of the Water Commission to install effluent treatment units at their sites,” he said during a beach cleaning drive organized by non-government organisations at Sea View to mark World Oceans Day.

He said that unfortunately up to 85 per cent of industries in the city do not act upon the directives of the commission to install effluent treatment plant, defying the deadlines given for the purpose. “We are a political government and we don’t want to start using powers like a judge and issuing orders for closure of the industries,” he said, adding that they convened a meeting and asked the industries to start their work to install effluent treatment plants.

The minister said that some of the industries started implementing the orders, but a majority of them did not cooperate in this regard. “I have been left with no option other than issuing closure notices to them (non-cooperating industries),” he said.

The provincial minister said that the government could not compromise any more on survival of the country’s marine life and resources. He said that work was also on to install combined effluent treatment plants at different industrial zones of Karachi with support of federal government.

“Once these combined effluent treatment plants would be installed there would be 70 to 80 per cent reduction in the environmental damage being done to the sea.”

Talpur said that since the time he had assumed the charge of provincial Environment Department there had been 50 per cent reduction in instances of open burning of municipal waste in Karachi nearby population.

He said that concerned municipal organizations and police were being involved by his department to check and prevent instances of open burning of municipal waste in Karachi.

The provincial government would soon declare District South in Karachi a plastic-free zone by imposing a complete ban on use of polythene shopping bags, he said adding the decision of Sindh cabinet to impose ban on use of polythene bags in Sukkur District could not be properly implemented.

“Much has been done and much more has to be done to safeguard the environment. A lot of harm has been done to the environment but to our fortune there is no damage, which could not be reversed,” said the Environment minister.