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Blue blobs are floating above dark pink water in a drain in an industrial area of Karachi; teal green bubbles are circling wildly over a slow-moving liquid surface at a factory nearby; a river in the same area is dotted with what looks like snow-white candyfloss foam and a neighbouring creek has the sheen of a mirror placed in the sun.
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This patchwork of colours and forms, though attractive to look at, not just smells foul but is also poisonous. A kilometre away from the rainbow, the water’s surface looks deathly still. It has all turned into blue splotches.
The locale of this spectacle is Karachi’s Korangi Industrial Area and its parts are formed by various types of untreated industrial waste. The single largest carrier of these noxious effluents here is a drain that carries them into the Malir river which, in turn, flows into the Arabian Sea. Dark pink, almost maroon, water rushes through the drain, looking menacingly polluted.
The uneven banks of the drain are peppered with mounds of dirty earth, topped by even bigger mounds of trash — mainly plastics. The possibility that this garbage may slip into the sludge flowing below looks very real. A number of young rag pickers are busy sifting through the piles of earth and waste, and filling their sacks with whatever reusable stuff they can find.
“Cleaning the drain is a responsibility of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB),” points out Dr Ashiq Ali Langah, the director for initial environmental assessment (IEE) at the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa). He has seen deterioration in not just the drain’s level of cleanliness but also in Korangi’s overall physical environment since Sepa’s headquarters shifted here from Clifton 12 years ago. “[Everything] has changed for the worse,” he says.
This is despite the fact that Karachi’s lone combined effluent treatment plant has been housed in Korangi, not quite far from the drain, since 2007. It was set up by the Pakistan Tanners Association, in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, the federal government, the government of Netherlands, provincial government of Sindh and the City District Government Karachi, at a total cost of 492 million rupees. (Its sponsors and operators have plans to upgrade it by 2020 at an estimated cost of 530 million rupees.)
Ten-year-old Mehran wades through an avalanche of garbage from an overflowing dumpster in Islamabad's F-10 sector. Sorting through the noxious mix of organic and inorganic waste, he picks out paper, cardboard, plastic and glass and tosses it into the bag slung over his shoulder.
Garbage-picking, often a job reserved for those on the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder, most commonly employs young boys and girls; Mehran is among thousands of children who scavenge for recyclables in dumpsters and landfill sites across Pakistan.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pakistan generates around 20 million tonnes of solid waste annually and this figure grows by 2.4 per cent each year. In the absence of adequate garbage collection and waste management infrastructure, most of this garbage is incinerated or left to rot in dumps, often in the middle of cities.
Yet, most Pakistanis appear unconcerned. While garbage collection does occasionally appear on the national agenda in the context of governance failure, recycling or environmentally sustainable solid waste management is almost never discussed.
Syed Ayub Qutub, executive director of Pakistan Institute for Environment-Development Action Research (Piedar), has been working on environmental conservation and sustainable development for over 25 years. He says that compared to international standards — with per capita waste generation at about 0.8 kilos —Pakistanis do not produce a tremendous amount of waste. In comparison, the global average is 1.42 Kg per person.
Even when municipal waste is properly collected and disposed of by concerned authorities, it usually ends up in landfill sites which are environmentally hazardous, contaminating land and water and releasing harmful greenhouse gasses. And as land becomes more expensive, there are also economic costs for dedicating large areas of land, merely for dumping the garbage
Karachi nuclear power plant is located on the Arabian Sea coast, approximately 18km east of Karachi, and has been in service with a single 137MW reactor unit (Kanupp-1) since 1972. It is owned and operated by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC)
HPR1000 is a generation III+ three-loop PWR based on the design improvements over the China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN)’s ACPR-1000 and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC)’s ACP-1000 reactor models. All the six main pumps of the nuclear reactors were approved by March 2020
Kanupp-2 unit will have two main circulating water pumps at the pump room, weighing 123t each with a motor power of 9000KW. The pumps will provide cooling water to the conventional islands of the power plant
The nuclear island has a two-layered containment. The outer layer is divided into a tube-like structure and a dome structure. Capping of the dome will provide a strong foundation for installation, debugging and operational purposes of the reactor
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