Commissioner Malakand seals seven steel mills for violating environmental laws

PESHAWAR: Commissioner Malakand on Monday has shut down seven steel mills over non-compliance of environmental laws. The officials added that steel mills were found emitting pollution while no filtrations were installed at any of the seven mills.

The action was taken by commissioner Malakand, Riaz Khan Mahsud, saying, all seven steel mills operating in built-up zones of the district are emitting pollution which is hazardous for human health and causes the spread of several diseases.

Malakand division is known for its natural beauty. But since it is declared as a text-free zone by the federal government due to its backwardness, a number of factories have been opened. The residents of the area have also submitted a petition to the green bench of Peshawar High Court, asking the court to stop factories and mills from polluting the natural environment.

“No steel mill will be allowed to operate in Malakand until they obey rules and regulations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environment Protection Agency,” warned the commissioner. “These open furnaces are spreading disease including cancer among the dwellers of the area. Therefore, the administration would not let them compromise on public health.”

The commissioner has directed the mill owners to install the mechanical unit being suggested by environment protection agency to filter and control the emission of hazardous gases. He furthered that industry is no doubt key to employment and prosperity, but it does not mean to compromise the SOPs of KP environment protection agency.

“Malakand is one of the scenic beauties and naturally decorated zone of the division and necessary steps will be taken for the protection of this clean and green environment, Mehsud maintained, ‘We are trying to shift these industries to industrial estate recently inaugurated by Honorable Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan.

He conditioned Operations of Steel mills with No Objection Certificate to be issued by environmental protection agency.