SHC seeks SEPA report on coal dumping on amenity plot

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa)’s director general to inspect the site of coal handling terminal in Shireen Jinnah Colony and coal dumping at an amenity and submit a report on whether these activities constitute environmental hazard.

Two-judge bench directed Sepa’s DG to submit the report within in a week and if he comes to the conclusion that coal handling in the area hazardous to health, he would take action in accordance with law.

Hearing of case was adjourned till November 17.

Afaq Qureshi and other inhabitants of Shireen Jinnah Colony and areas in close proximity to the coal terminal, had moved the court against Karachi Port Trust (KPT)’s coal handling facility.

The petitioners said that coal dust blowing from the terminal had posed serious threat to the health of residents of the area.

They said that averagely five ships carrying 35000 to 40000 tons of the coal are berthed every month and about 200000 tons of the coal is handled at the terminal.

The coal was being unlawfully dumped at an amenity plot earmarked for recreational activities.

They told the judges that due to coal terminal and its dumping, inhabitants of the area were facing the serious consequences of environmental effects which had resulted in raising number of respiratory diseases in the locality.

Moreover, 20-feet-long road from Shireen Jinnah Colony to the sea always remain clogged with heavy vehicles transporting coal to various industrial units, they added.

They said KPT have failed to take safety measures preventing spread of coal dust which was hazardous to the human health. Therefore, they pleaded to the court to declare as unlawful the presence of coal terminal in the locality and direct respondents to shift it from the area.

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