SC directs stone crushers to stop blasting in two months in KP

ISLAMABAD, Apr 25 (APP): The Supreme Court on Monday directed the stone crushing plants to stop blasting in two months in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and court would issue its ruling in this regard.

A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah heard the case regarding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stone crushers rules filed by a resident Aamir Ishaq.

During the course of proceedings, the court ordered formation of commission for protection of environmental pollution and affected nearby communities from power crushers. The parties including the KP government should appoint the members of the commission and informed the court in this regard.

The court stated that the commission should suggest how nearby communities could be protected from pollution and problems spread by power crushers.

Advocate Imran Hussain counsel for the petitioner said that the KP government amended rules to allow power crushers to be set up at 500 meters instead of 1000 meters.

Justice Ijaz said that according to reports, power crushing was spreading cancer and respiratory diseases in nearby residential areas. He asked why no precautionary measures had been taken for power crushing.

The counsel said that the waste release of stone crushers was the main reason for the spread of diseases. Stone crushers cause rocks to fly with noise, which could lead to deaths, he added.

Advocate Aitzaz Ahsan counsel for the stone crushing plants said that if the population was growing closer to the site, then what was the fault of stone crushers.

Justice Mansoor said that stone crushers were affecting human health which was the main issue in this case.

Justice Ijaz said that the Environmental Protection Agency had installed filters which were monitored In the Islamabad Power Crushers case. He asked why stone crushers not install filters on their plants in KP?

Waqar Zakariya, an environmental expert said that lower stone crusher companies could set up their own monitoring units.

The Chief Justice said that even if the population distance from stone crushers was increased to 1000 meters, how could it be ensured that there would be no more residential constructions? Despite being a safe area in Islamabad, Bani Gala and Bara Kahu could not escape construction, he added.

He said that the court was hearing the case of only three stone crushers while there were 950 crushers in the whole KP. The KP government’s resources for environmental protection were very weak, he added.

He said that if a stone crusher company did not have the resources to protect the environment, then the KP government should shut it down immediately.

He observed that blasting was more harmful to health than stone crushing.
Later, hearing of the case was adjourned for two months.