Karachi is situated on the coastline of Sindh area in southern Pakistan, along a characteristic harbor on the Arabian Sea. Karachi is based on a seaside fields with scattered rough outcroppings, slopes and beach front marshlands. Beach front mangrove timberlands develop in the bitter waters around the Karachi Harbor, and more distant southeast towards the extensive Indus River Delta. Despite Karachi has developed around the Malir River and Lyari Rivers System. Karachi has two major river namely Malir River and Layari River, these are seasonal rivers which carries the collected rain water after the rains in the catchment area. These rivers passes through the city of Karachi from North East to the Centre and drains into the Arabian Sea. It has two main tributaries, the Thadho and the Sukhan.
The city is home to approximately 30 percent of Pakistan’s manufacturing sector, and produces approximately 42 percent of Pakistan’s value added in large scale manufacturing. At least 5000 industrial units form Karachi’s formal industrial economy. Karachi could be divided into more than 11 industrial zones includes Export Processing Zone, SITE, Korangi, Northern Bypass Industrial Zone, Bin Qasim and North Karachi serve as large industrial estates in Karachi. The major industries in Karachi are Textile, Pharmaceutical, steel mills, extraction plants, automobiles, leather, dyes and pigments industries etc. Most of the industries are responsible to discharge effluent without any treatment which carries toxic substances and toxic heavy metals such as chromium, cadmium, lead and mercury without treatment in Malir River, Layari River and other streams of Karachi resulted rivers and streams exhibits high level of pollution.
Hardly any days prior Indian News Agencies reported “BLUE DOGs” found in “Mumbai’s Taloja industrial Estate” due to untreated industrial effluent that are being released into the Kasadi River. Being an Environmentalist I have a concern and would like to raise my words it’s an alarming bell for Pakistan to take tangible step on emergency basis to avoid similar catastrophe in Karachi. Government of Sindh should to ensure operation and at least establishment of Combine Effluent treatment plants in all industrial estates. Despite all Pakistan is a signatory to WTO (World Trade Organization) regulations and many others conventions in terms of social and environmental compliance necessitated by increasing industrialization, urbanization and other commercial activities around the world. Therefore, it is mandatory to treat hazardous effluent before its discharge into the streams and ensure SEQS (Sindh Environmental Quality Standards). Government also should to involve stakeholders as well as local communities to act as ‘environmental stewards’.