KARACHI: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has acted on the instructions of Sindh Chief Minister’s Adviser on Law, Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab in the light of its preliminary investigation into air pollution in Keamari and under Section 21 of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act 2014, the transfer of cargo from a ship laden with soya beans on berth No. 11 and 12 to the port has been stopped.
During a visit on Wednesday to the port, a high-level technical team of SEPA led by Director General Naeem Ahmed Mughal found soya beans unloading was polluting the air with large amounts of particulate matter (PM) and soybean dust.
Orders were issued to KPT on the spot to immediately stop the transfer of soya beans from the ship. Subsequently, a written order was also issued late night on Wednesday.
SEPA team also found that satisfactory safety measures were not being taken by the KPT staff to control the dust and PM emissions while transferring the cargo.
In this regard, the Environment Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab said in a statement, citing the SEPA report, that the apparent soybean transfer seems to be the cause of air pollution in the area.
He added that the foreign ship had arrived at the port carrying 67,000 tonnes of soybeans, which has been stopped from transferring it to the port.
KPT staff informed the SEPA team that out of 67000 tonnes, 15000 tonnes had already been unloaded from the ship.
Residents around Kemari were reportedly affected by its emissions during the referred cargo transfer.
He said that KPT authorities have been directed to immediately stop its unloading from the ship.
It should be noted that under the Sindh Environmental Protection Act, SEPA can stop any activity that has harmed, is harming or likely to harm the environment.