Four factories sealed for burning tyres for fuel


The Environment Protection Department (EPD) officials sealed four factories located in Darogawala on Saturday for using burning tyres as a fuel for their factories.
Ever since gas and electricity load shedding has increased, steel mills have started using burning tyres as an alternative fuel which is extremely dangerous for the environment and for the health of those living nearby.
Fumes emitted from burning tyres cause irritation on the skin and in the eyes, and is also very harmful for the human respiratory system. The black smoke is a nuisance and carries toxic chemicals. However, they are very economical; one tyre contains about 7.5 litres of oil. Dr Saleem Javed, who runs a private clinic in Darogawala, says that the number of patients with respiratory diseases and skin infections have multiplied in the last couple of months.
“The thick smoke which a burning tyre emits contains carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and products of butadiene (a colorless, highly flammable hydrocarbon) and styrene (a colourless oily liquid),” he explained.
Waseem Ahmed, a resident of Darogawala, says that until the government sealed these factories, he was very confused as to why the people living in the locality were having respiratory diseases all of a sudden. “We do not have the means to leave this locality. The government should take strict action or else give us some other place to live in,” said Waseem.
Another resident of Darogawala, Mustjab Rizwan, told Pakistan Today that he had to clean his house more than two times a day because of the thick black smoke. “We cannot hang our clothes outside or on the roof. They get covered with black fumes every few hours,” he added.
An owner of one of the sealed factories said that tyres were very cheap.
“Three-day-long load shedding of gas makes it impossible for us to use it. Wood costs around Rs. 300 per 40kg; hence, burning tyres is the best option we have,” he said.
“Tyres are easily available and like fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, they contain hydrocarbons and have more fuel value than coal,” he said
EPD DO Younis Zahid said, “Burning tyres is a crime under the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and therefore, we have imposed heavy fines on all the culprits.”