Sialkot tanners win court ruling

14 March 2012

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on March 12 threw out a legal case after an undertaking was submitted that the Punjab Government had arranged a system for disposal of industrial waste of more than 250 tanneries in the Sialkot district.

A two-member bench of the SC comprising Justice Tassaduq Hassan Jilaini and Justice Saqib Nisar heard a complaint from Mukhtar Ahmad and 30 other villagers of Bhamberwala and five other rural areas.

The Punjab government had acquired 384 acre land for building a Tannery Zone at a cost of Rs204.510 million for shifting more than 250 tanneries from city to rural areas of Sialkot.

The residents had written to the court stating that the shifting of tanneries in rural areas would affect their fields, graveyards, schools and pollute water in the area.

Punjab Advocate General, Faisal Zaman, Sialkot Assistant Commissioner, Sheraz Ahmad and a representative of the tannery association (PTA), Naveed Iqbal, appeared before the court and submitted that the government had laid a proper drain for disposal of waste. They submitted a report of the provincial environment protection agency, which assured the court that the relocation of the tanneries in to the zone would not cause pollution as a proper system had been adopted for disposal of waste including chemicals.

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