According to the Pakistan Observer, Despite the ‘warnings and mild actions’ of the authorities concerned, the pyrolysis plants (tire recycling units) mafia is running its business in the city to pollute the environment.

The functioning of such plants not only rejects the claims of Commissioner Lahore Capt (retd) Muhammad Usman Younas for demolishing such plants but also the Prime Minister, who has a deep concern to keep the environment clean.

The news outlet states that these plants are one of the major reasons for smog in the provincial capital. The Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had previously sealed these plants for their toxic and dangerous emissions, but owners of these plants used to restart their business after removing seals and with the connivance of authorities concerned.

In October 2021, the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) banned all industries involved in contributing to smog, including brick kilns, furnace mills, and pyrolysis plants.

All the departments concerned were also directed to play their due role in curbing the smog by stopping the smog-causing factors. After the directions of authorities, many industrial units stopped their work or installed the systems to minimize the emission of toxic smoke.

To curb the growing threat of smog, PDMA, along with deputy commissioner Lahore, formed different squads to take action against all the polluters. These anti-smog squads comprised of officials from EPA, Water and Sanitation Agency, Municipal Corporation Lahore and other departments sealed a score of industrial units found in violation. Then authorities adopted a new strategy and started demolishing several smog-causing units, smog squads claimed to demolish all tire pyrolysis plants from Lahore.

According to the statements issued by Commissioner Lahore and Deputy Commissioner Lahore offices all 18 pyrolysis plants working in Mehmood Booti area had been demolished under the supervision of Shalimar Town’s Assistant Commissioner Tehniyat Bukhari. These plants include MSRR, MS Haroon Farooq, MS Shoiab, Saleem Roshan, MS Tayyab, MS Daud, MS Azeem Kasuri, MS Waqas Akbar, MS Gohar Ali, Sohail, Ayaz, Naeem Haron, Saleem, Zulfiqar, Ahmed Butt, MS Sheikh Irfan, Ramzan and others.

According to the Pakistan Observer, during their visit to the area, this could be seen that many plants have restarted their business. Looking at plants’ condition, nobody can guess whether they were ever demolished by any authority.

Pakistan Observer’s sources informed that the smog squad showed its aggressive operation against such plants in videos and pictures but they didn’t break the major parts like reactors, catalytic chamber, cooling tubes, heavy tanks and others. “Plants owners, soon after the operation again restarted their work after minor repairing,” they said. When contacted Secretary Environment Punjab, Syed Mubasher Hussain said that his department was not solely taking action in this regard but working in collaboration with the Commissioner office. He was of the view that it was not possible to restart their business once the squad demolishes the illegal construction of any factory involved in illegal business. He said that squad also submits pictorial evidence of its action against such elements.

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