KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday sought comments from the city mayor, director general of Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) and others in a petition seeking imposition of a complete ban on disposal, burning or smoldering of solid waste and garbage in Malir River or its banks at the Korangi Causeway.
The petition was filed by Yasir Khursid and 41 other residents of Air Force Officers Housing Society (AFOHS), Dadabhai Town Mehmoodabad, Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment and others.
The petitioners, represented by Advocate Zubair Ahmed Abro, challenged the dumping and disposal through open burning and smouldering of hazardous, hospital, industrial and municipal solid waste in Malir River at Korangi Causeway resulting in adverse environmental, security and health impacts on the residents of the area including the petitioners.
The petitioners submitted that more than 12,000 tons of solid waste was being produced every day in the city and despite such a huge load, the city had no Garbage Transfer Stations (GTSs).
The petitioners stated that every day, more than 7000 tons of solid waste was being dumped into Nullas (drains), which ended up going in the sea or burnt openly.
They said that open burning of garbage results in several hazardous pollutants being released into the air.
The petitioners said that the impact and velocity of the dumping and open burning of the solid waste in Malir Nadi at Korangi Causeway could be judged from the comparison of Google images, of this area, from the year 2005 to 2017.
They submitted that the acts of the respondents put lives of the petitioners and other residents in great danger of respiratory diseases, especially children and infants.
Petitioners referred to Forum of International Respiratory Society’s (FIRC) observation on the issue as a supporting evidence.
“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, acute respiratory infections, tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer are big five respiratory conditions and one of the major causes of above respiratory conditions is exposure to dust, fumes and air pollution.” it read.
Citing chief secretary, city mayor, inspector general of police, SSWMB, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Cantonment Board Faisal, District Municipal Committee Korangi and DMC East were made respondents in the petition.
It was further prayed to the court to declare the open burning and smouldering of solid waste be declared as illegal, since it amounted to playing with the lives of the petitioners and other residents of the area.