Sindh Env. Minister presses for regular monitoring of polluting vehicles

KARACHI: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy, Sindh Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar has said that there is pressing need to continue campaign against vehicular emission on regular basis so that one of the important contributors of air pollution could be curbed at its initial stage.

Speaking on the occasion of review meeting of the successfully concluded development scheme of Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh namely “Vehicular Emission Control Program” (VECOP) on Tuesday here he was of the view that the said scheme should be run on regular basis to mitigate the menace of air pollution which is one of the causes of several respiratory diseases.

Secretary Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Mir Hussain Ali said on this occasion that the PC-IV of the project which is a mandatory requirement after the completion of any scheme has already been submitted to Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh highlighting the entire performance of the project.

Director General Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh, was also present on this occasion.

Earlier, Project Director of VECOP Shahid Farhad briefed the Minister on overall performance of the project and said the Vehicular Emission Control Program was designed with the aim of initiation of a sustainable campaign for monitoring vehicles that could be classified as polluting, both in terms of emissions and noise levels.

Shahid Farhad said that the objectives of VECOP include improvement in air quality, improvement in the quality of vehicles operating, improvement of the aesthetics (trees, buildings, monuments, etc.) and improvement in health of the commuters, traffic policemen, residents.

Minister was told that the scheme was started in November 2007 and satisfactory progress was made regarding technical staff, procurement of vehicular emission and noise monitoring equipments, establishment of data storage and record keeping system.

The project was reflected in the ADP of 2005-2006 was approved by the DDWP in September 2005 at a total cost of Rs30 million. The same was revised in July 2007 and August 2009 with a total cost of Rs31.45 and Rs36.435 million respectively. Later on it was further revised in October 2010 for a total cost of Rs44.918.

The scheme was funded by Government of Sindh and accordingly successfully completed on 30th June, 2011 with the achievement of 95 per cent of its objectives. Presently the 33-member staff of the scheme including ten officers and twenty-three officials is under the process of regularization in accordance with the provisions of the PC-I of the scheme and its summary has been sent to Chief Minister Sindh for approval.

He was also apprised that the regular monitoring/ inspection was started from January 2010 and during the last 18 months about 11,384 vehicles of all categories have been inspected and tested for their emission levels and out of which about 3503 did not comply with the National Environmental Quality Standard (NEQS) for vehicles. While 1947 vehicles were challaned by the traffic police for their violation of NEQS.

About the author

Saleem Shaikh

The writer is a development journalist. He writes on water, sanitation, environment, climate change, agriculture, women development, human rights, education, health, development budgets and economy.

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