Economic cost of pollution unbearable

Karachi: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Friday called upon the government to revisit environmental laws so that stringent measures could be taken against people and organisations spreading pollution.

Pakistan is standing at an environmental crossroads as the health of people in many cities hangs in the balance due to pollution which has approaching catastrophic levels, said Vice President FPCCI Munawar Mughal.

He was speaking as chief guest at a function and a walk held by CDA to raise awareness about environment during its on-going ‘Clean and Green Campaign’.

Member CDA Sanaullah Aman, DIG Police Sultan Azam Temuri, SVP ICCI Khalid Chaudhry, leaders of different associations, students of different schools and a large number of commoners were present on the occasion.

Munawar Mughal said that some of the effects of pollution include hearing problems, nose and throat infections, headaches, nausea, allergies, irritation, rage, respiratory and heart disease, lung cancer, brain and nerve damage, and impaired liver and kidney functions.

Moreover, he said, environmental damage comes at a substantial economic cost in terms of health-related expenditure and reduced productivity in factories, offices, schools and homes.

Pollution has been burdening our fragile healthcare system which is failing to keep pace with a growing population and scaled down budgetary allocations, he added.

Lauding the role of CDA and students of different schools in creating environmental awareness, he said that a lot is to be done in this direction.

Mughal demanded strict action against polluters, people involved in deforestation, following India in switching public transport vehicles to clean fuel, emission controls, consultations with different stakeholders, promoting organic fertilisers and natural pesticides etc which he said needed the political will.

A balance must be found between development and conservation to stop this crime against humanity by plugging leakages in the related laws, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sanaullah Aman said that CDA would continue to keep Islamabad cleanest cities in Pakistan. He asked the participants to inform authorities about pollution and ensured action within twenty four hours.

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