Islamabad: Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has decided to move out marble factories being set up in the residential areas of Sector B-17.
Pak-EPA Director General (DG) Farzana Altaf Shah told media that there are currently 22 marble units functional in Sector B-17 area (Sangjiani) of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). These units generate dust, noise and water pollution that could cause serious diseases among the local residents.
Moreover, in addition to registered units, a number of illegal factories also operates in close proximity to residential areas.
The DG further told that the agency is consulting with the owners of these units to devise a robust mechanism for the relocation of these factories without posing any social and economic threat.
It is to be noted that the said agency had already imposed fines worth more than Rs11 million on the marble factories, while a few cases – that operate in Sectors I-9 and I-10 – are pending before the Supreme Court and the Labour Department of ICT.
Threat from Marble Factories
Marble factories generally work outside of the shop’s covered area with least or almost no safety measures either for the environment or the labourers. The area gets polluted with microscopic marble (respirable crystalline silica) dust which is likely to be inhaled; consequently, leading to lung damage or silicosis.