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Published On:Saturday, October 28, 2017
Posted by CDS

Chakwal: Cement Factories Affecting The Health Of Residents

CHAKWAL: Drinking water scarcity and rising health issues especially asthma among others respiratory diseases have grown to be a problem for the thousands locals of Region Chakwal, said that their livelihood is also afflicted after the structure of the number of cement factories in salt range of the Punjab.

This was revealed during a recent visit of journalist from provincial capital in the area of Salt Range. The visit was organised by Heinrich Boell Stiftung, a German foundation and part of the green political movement. 
During the visit, the team also visited Katas Raj where the organisers explained how the monument is being deteriorated due to the pollution and other activities of the cement factories present in the area. The team then met with General Muhammad Safdar, former governor of Punjab and resident of Chakwal.
While meeting the journalists, General Safdar expressed deep concern over construction of cement factories in the area. According to him, the area is rapidly losing its green look as vegetation is disappearing due to water scarcity. “Nature made this land for olives but man turned it for cement,” he said, adding cultivation of crops especially grains is now not possible in this area. 
The former governor expressed that pasture needs plantation and plants require water which has been taken away from the factories. He said people sufferings are unending, as time passed, people will migrate from the area due to water scarcity and government has no plan of relocate to them. 
During the visit, the team also visited a cement factory and witnessed its way of working, control room, ponds and other operational parts. Briefing the journalists, Irfan Sheikh, Director of the cement factory rejected the allegation leveled by General Muhammad Safdar. 
According to him, cement is produced in dry form. Water is only used in limited quantity during cooling of bearings, compressor jackets, conditioning tower, mills etc. He said there was closed circuit cooling water system where water was recycled and used again. 
“No water is disposed outside the cement factories,” he claimed, adding the factory has installed a sewerage treatment plant too, which showed its commitment towards the environment. He claimed that the treated water has been stored in concrete tanks constructed inside the factory and recycled water is used for irrigation purpose, factory lawns and other requirements. Over a question, he strongly rejected the allegation that cement factories were throwing their waste water into nearby ponds and lands. 
Cement factories use modern dust collecting technology, which uses the combination of bag filters and electrostatic precipitation, he maintained. Bag filters prevents pollution. While the dust emission remains on 40 which is much below the international standards of 50mg/NM3, he stated.
Factories have been constructed because of presence of raw material, including gypsum, clay etc in the area, confirmed by Naseem-ur-Rehman, Director Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Punjab. 
He said mitigation measures have been taken by the companies. Electrostatic Precipitation (EP) are being used in the factories, he said and added that District Officer (DO) Environment Department regularly visit these factories for monitoring and inspection.
“Noise pollution is also under control,” he said and elaborated that there were international standards of noise. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), noise in Residential area should not exceed to 45 decimal, commercial areas 55 decimal and Industrial area standard of noise should be 65 decimal. According to him, EPA believes in sustainable development. The factories cannot be closed rather made environment friendly. 

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Posted by CDS on October 28, 2017. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By CDS on October 28, 2017. Filed under . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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