10 housing societies to get EPA notices for polluting water


The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is going to serve notices on 10 private housing societies for polluting water resources of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and not getting Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).
These private housing schemes, located along the Islamabad express way, are violating Section 11 of EPA Act 1997 which clearly prohibits certain discharges like solid waste and sewerage water.
In the first phase, EPA had served notices on five private housing societies located in Sector E-11 for polluting fresh and rainwater streams. In the second phase, the EPA will issue notices to all the housing societies involved in polluting the water resources.
The notices will be served on the presidents and general secretaries of the private housing societies, including Bahria Town, Iqbal Town, Korangi Town, Swan Garden, National Police Foundation, PWD Housing Society, Defence Housing Society and Pakistan Town.
An official in EPA told Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity, “Many of these housing societies have violated sections 11 and 12 of EPA Act 1997. Section 12 binds every housing society to get NOC of EIA from the EPA, which means their development work will not harm environment and they will take environment-friendly steps like greenbelts and small rainwater pounds.” He added the EPA would issue instructions to the housing societies to plant more trees, give proper space to greenbelts, install sewerage treatment plants and construct small pounds to store rainwater to recharge the underground water level. “We shall ask all the societies to install sewerage treatment plants to prevent the environmental degradations caused by the sewage accumulated in the open,” said the official. He said the presidents and general secretaries of these housing societies had been promising to install sewerage treatment plants (STPs), but they had not been giving timeframe. According to the EPA, these societies were delaying the installation of the STPs.
When contacted, EPA Director General Asif Shuja said, “These housing schemes are situated upstream and discharge sewage into the fresh water brooks. Most of these societies discharge their sewage into the Sawan and Korang rivers, polluting the water resources. We have asked all the societies to install sewage treatment plants to save the streams from being polluted.” He said the EPA would not hesitate to take action against those polluting streams as there were clear instructions from the Supreme Court to plug all the sewerage pipelines responsible for polluting water resources.
The DG hinted at contacting the Capital Development Authority as well, saying these housing societies claim they have met all the requirements of the CDA, but the civic body never checked their sewerage systems. He warned the violators to fine them, plug their pipes and send their cases to the environment tribunal.


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