MINGORA: Commissioner Malakand Division Riaz Khan Mehsud has ordered the closure of all seven steel mills operating in the built-up zones of the Malakand district for violating environmental laws.
In his standby directives issued here the other day, the commissioner clarified that no steel mill could be operated in the seven districts of Malakand division except those having compliance with Environment Protection Agency’s SOPs.
“These open furnaces are distributing cancer and other epidemic diseases in the community and the administration will not let them compromise on public health and safety,” he said, adding that environment came first, and anyone who was interested to run his industry should install the mechanical unit being suggested by the Environment Protection Agency to filter and control emission of hazardous and nitrogenous gases.
“Malakand division is one of the scenic regions of the country and the natural beauty of this region will not be allowed to be harmed by environmental pollution. Necessary steps have to be taken for the protection of its clean and green environment,” he said.
He maintained that regional administration was trying to shift these industries to the industrial estate recently inaugurated by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in Malakand.
He conditioned the operation of the steel mills with no objection certificate issued by the Environment Protection Agency.