Punjab govt whips its rod out for factories in residential areas


On the directive of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, a high level meeting was presided over by Member National Assembly (MNA) and Institutional Reforms Group Chairman Ahsan Iqbal regarding safety of industrial plants and factories.
It was decided that the Environmental Department will take action against factories operating in urban areas without discrimination. A provisional plan to relocate all factories out of residential areas was also agreed upon. It was also agreed that factories would not be registered till the relevant departments give NOC on the safety measures adopted. The secretaries of labour, industries and environmental departments were directed to submit recommendations for protection of workers and labourers within two days.
Addressing the meeting, Iqbal said that Punjab government wanted to ensure foolproof implementation of safety laws in factories and industrial zones. He said that workers should be enrolled in fire fighting crash courses. He also advocated mandating fire extinguishers in all factories and commercial offices.
He also sought proposals from office-bearers of chambers of commerce and stressed upon them to work in cohort with the government for ensuring implementation of existing laws. Office-bearers of Lahore, Faisalabad and Sialkot Chambers of Commerce & representatives of Labour Organization, Secretaries of labour, environment and industries departments, Commissioner Lahore Division, Director General 1122 and other provincial officers attended the meeting.


  1. No action seems to have been taken. Factories are still functioning in residential areas. It is evident from news reports that plastic and shoe factories, around 130, continue their work without any fear of action. Many fire incidents have also taken place. Who will take the action? Perhaps no one as the owners of factories are a powerful mafia, supported by local politicians. The residents of the Khayban-i-Iqbal (Old Badar / Bangash colonies) are at risk, looking for removal of the factories from their area.

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