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Implementation of anti-pollution laws a distant dream in AJK

Altaf Hamid Rao,

MIRPUR (AJK): While the AJK government claims that protection of the environment was its top priority, the implementation of various anti-pollution laws is still a distant dream in Azad Jammu & Kashmir following lack of coordination and cooperation among the related stake holder government institutions.

Various anti-pollution laws have been framed and some are proposed to be promulgated after formal legislation through the AJK legislative assembly in the state, but the sources including experts said there was rarely any implementation of these laws, according to investigations conducted by this Correspondent.

Besides that disposal of waste has to be managed by Solid Waste Management Rules, Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, Plastic Waste Management Rules, Hazardous and Other Waste Rules, Construction and Demolition Waste Rules and E-Waste Management Rules.

As per details, in the year 2015, 16 and 17 and also this year of 2018 capacity building as as training and awareness workshops were organized on various environmental and human health issues including the hazardous affects of the use of plastic bags on the human life, solid waste management and other identical issues to raise awareness among the masses besides to remind other stake holder public and private-sector institutions responsible of maintaining the population-free environment through their acts and deeds in line with prevailing law for prevention of environmental pollution.

An environmentalist told this scribe that the concerned authorities (the stake holders) have failed to implement environment policy in the state in letter and spirit following lack of due cooperation and coordination among the public sector stake holder institutions . “We have all types of pollution in the state – but nobody is listening to reduce the pollution level”, he said and observed that the AJ&K could be described as the worst possible states in pollution level.”

He said that authorities have been hiding the facts that pollution level was not increasing at an alarming rate in the state. “Our water bodies are extremely polluted. Harmful gases are emitting from factories and huge dust is emitting from vehicular traffic on roads. For the last couple of years, over a lakh vehicles have been added on the roads and they would have added to a greater extend to pollute the environment.”

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