Citizens suffering from continuous vibration pollution


Lack of legislation on the issue leaves complaints unresolved

LAHORE: Thousands of citizens in the provincial capital suffer due to vibration caused by different businesses near their homes, Pakistan Today has observed.

It has been witnessed that different small businesses like printing press, iron or steel works and other machines are operating in the residential areas. Such businesses are present in a great number in Shahdra, Township, Sanda, Green Town, Lakshmi, Misri Shah and other areas of Lahore.

Due to a lack of legislation regarding setting up of such businesses in residential areas, authorities are unaware of how to deal with the issue if a complaint was lodged by any citizen.

A resident of Shahdra, Kamran, had lodged a complaint in the office of town municipal officer, in which he said that constant vibration of a printing press adjacent to his home has caused cracks in his house. He said that the vibration was not just causing damage to its structure but also causing mental stress to him and his family. He said that he was asked to contact building control office as it was not under the jurisdiction of a municipal officer.

“I approached the building control office of LDA which referred me to the district coordination officer’s (DCO) office,” he said, and added that the DCO also refused to entertain my application because it was not his jurisdiction to restrict a business and referred me to the Environment district officer (DO).

Kamran told Pakistan Today that after a long effort, the DO presented his issue as being of noise pollution instead of vibration. However, the issue remains unresolved.

Like Kamran many other citizens have had the same issue.

A resident of Misri Shah, Ashfaq, told Pakistan Today that cracks had appeared in his home due to heavy vibration of the lathe machine operating adjacent to his house. He said that earlier, he informed that after police involvement, the machine owner was barred to continue his work. “The lathe machine owner resumed his work after obtaining court orders as this was not under police’s jurisdiction,” he said, and added he also approached the TMO which referred him to other departments.

An official told the scribe that TMO had no authority regarding this particular issue. He said that many works which cause vibration were operating for a decade which is why it is hard to take action against them. Official said that the TMO officials tried to resolve the dispute by taking both parties into confidence. However, he said that this issue could only be dealt with by the environment department.

An official in the Environmental Protection Department (EPA) informed Pakistan Today that EPA has no clear rules regarding vibration pollution; but to provide relief to proponent, EPA applied the clause of noise against the violators. However, he said that it is the duty of the municipality to deal with the issue.

The official added that EPA has resolved several issues regarding vibration pollution.