In a sweeping operation, a collaborative effort between the Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD), the Rawalpindi and Islamabad administrations, and local law enforcement led to the dismantling nine illicit pyrolysis plants. These plants, known for producing oil and carbon by incinerating car tires at the ecologically sensitive Margalla Hills, resulted in the arrest of two individuals for environmental law violations.
EPD Dismantles Illegal Pyrolysis Plants
During the synchronized raid, authorities confiscated approximately 400 tonnes of hazardous carbon and 10 drums of oil derived from the pyrolysis plants. The operation was meticulously supervised by EPD Deputy Director Maria Bibi, alongside the Taxila Assistant Commissioner. They were bolstered by a substantial contingent of police officers hailing from Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The federal and provincial governments had already outlawed the establishment of such pyrolysis plants, which emit the densest and most noxious fumes and carbon through the combustion of tires. These environmental hazards have compelled authorities to take action.
Despite the governmental prohibition, individuals from the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions had clandestinely erected these plants in the Margalla Hills. Reports of these unlawful facilities sparked a major operation to address the issue. EPD Deputy Director expressed, “The anti-smog operation is ongoing throughout the district. Pyrolysis plants and stone crusher machines will not be allowed in the areas at the junction of the twin cities, as both contribute to toxic smog emissions, which is intolerable.”
She noted, “Now we are also taking action against smoke-emitting vehicles, brick kilns, and factories. Several kilns in the district have been demolished, and stringent penalties will now be imposed.”
In parallel, anti-smog committees have been mobilized in all tehsils of the district. Red warnings have been issued to all kilns, stone crushers, factories, power plants, and hospital administrations. A zero-tolerance policy is now firmly in place.
Countering the Boundaries
Maria Bibi stated, “By establishing these plants at the confluence of the twin cities, illegal operators exploit the jurisdictional boundaries of the twin cities. We have initiated joint operations to counter such illicit activities.”
The operation highlights the resolve of local authorities to combat environmental violations and safeguard the ecological integrity of the Margalla Hills.