The word ‘pollution’ which literally means contamination or defilement is causing irreparable loss to a city dweller. The clouds of pollution loom over the metropolitan cities of our country. The problem of pollution is being worsened each day due to uncontrolled migration from rural areas to cities, industrial units which are haphazardly located and vehicular traffic.
The air is polluted, the water is polluted and the noise we have to endure is assuming alarming proportions. All these pose a serious threat to the health of a city dweller who is suffering from serious ailments such as high blood pressure, respiratory diseases like asthma and skin-related disease. Children who live in the polluted environment of the cities are the most unsuspecting and vulnerable victims of this menace.
Industries emanate carbon mono-oxide, sulfur dioxide and other poisonous gases and this poses a serious threat to the city dwellers. Untreated industrial waste pollutes the water of rivers which ultimately leads to water pollution. The ecosystem is disturbed due to the discharge of sewage and harbor water in the coastal waters. The silence of the atmosphere is disturbed by loud music from stereos, different type of vehicles and noise from the machinery and factories.
According to the World Commission on Environment and Development, the danger of pollution has become universal and without resolute steps in the right direction, the very future of mankind will be jeopardized. Extensive steps for eliminating pollution have been taken by the Pakistani government. The protection of the environment is now a major agenda of the government and about thirty major enactments. The Wildlife Protection Act, the Forest Conservation Act, the Air Act, the Environment Protection Act, the Motor Vehicle Act, etc. are the most prominent of these.
Efforts are also afoot to minimize pollution in grossly populated areas of the country. Unleaded petrol is being provided in most of the states of Pakistan with the help of a Joint Action Plan of the Central Environment and Petroleum Ministries. Other measures to eliminate pollution include ‘Eco-mark’ label on the consumer products that are enviro-friendly. Seventeen categories of heavily polluting industries have been identified by the Pollution Control Board which is the national apex body for assessing and monitoring the control of air and water pollution.
In order to make the pollution control program, a success, awareness must be created at the grassroots level otherwise, in spite of the best efforts of the government and non-government agencies, much progress cannot be expected. If every individual takes upon himself the responsibility to ensure that he will keep his environment pollution-free, pollution can certainly be checked if not completely eliminated.