Lahore: The River Ravi Commission (RRC) held a consultative seminar on the treatment of heavy metals in sewage today. The meeting was called by the Chairman of the RRC, Dr. Kausar Abdullah Malik and attended by members of the RRC as well as sewage treatment experts.
The River Ravi Commission was formed by order of the Lahore High Court passed in Public Interest Litigation Association of Pakistan vs. Government of Punjab earlier this year. The Court had directed the Commission to prepare a report on what strategies could be adopted to counter the pollution to the River Ravi caused by unchecked pollution and discharge of industrial effluents. The River Ravi is the most polluted river in Pakistan and pollution has destroyed the ecological balance of the river, which is now no more than a sludge carrier.
The Commission comprises of the Advocate General Punjab, the Secretary, Environment Protection Department, Director General, Environment Protection Agency, Commissioner Lahore, Managing Director Water and Sanitation Agency, Lahore, Director General WWF - Pakistan, Dr. Vakar Zakrya, Kamil Khan Mumtaz and Ahmad Rafay Alam.
The seminar was conducted at FC College, Lahore. Professor Dr. A.R. Saleemi, Member Technical of the Punjab Environment Tribunal gave the overview of the challenges facing effluent treatment. He promoted the implementation of pre-treatment of effluent by industry and suggested various steps the Commission could take to best approach the issue of sewage treatment.
Dr. Asma Saeed of PCSIR gave a presentation on Heavy metals removal by bio-absorption and Dr. Qaiser M. Khan gave a presentation on Bioremediation technologies on heavy metal.
Ali Hassan Habib, DG WWF – Pakistan proposed a five-step recovery and way-forward plan. Dr. Kausar Abdullah Malik thanked the participants for their input. A Sub-Committee of the RRC will be submitting its report on sewage treatment technologies and this will form part of the report the Commission will submit to the Lahore High Court for further orders.
The attendees stressed the need for industry to comply with the law and to treat effluent before discharging it into water bodies. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Saeed Iqbal Zafar, Zamir Soomro of PCRWR and faculty from FC College and LUMS University.
WWF – Pakistan is the only non-governmental organization currently a member of the Ravi Commission.
About WWF - Pakistan
World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan was formed in 1970 to address the growing environmental and conservation issues in Pakistan that not only affected the flora and fauna, but were also affecting the human population. WWF – Pakistan is a non-profit organisation, working to preserve, conserve and save our environment and natural resources. Today, WWF - Pakistan works through 31 offices with a team of approximately 340 dedicated staff members. We have our Head Office in Lahore, regional offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Quetta, and project offices wherever there is need and the potential to make a difference.
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