South Asia

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2005

Pak industries checked: Punjab environment minister Makhdoom Ashfaq Ahmed announced recently that the Punjab environment protection department would hit hard on industries violating environmental norms. He said that the self-monitoring and reporting tools programme (to assess and report the volume of hazardous waste generated by industries) shall be implemented stringently. Earlier, since this was a voluntary programme, none of the violators were booked. "We will not spare the industries failing to get certified under ISO-9000 up to ISO-14000. The industries, especially those generating hazardous waste, will have to install plants to treat it, otherwise they would be closed," the environment minister added.

indo-Iranian pipeline: The US $7.5-billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project got a feasibility report prepared by the international financial consultants Ernst and Young, on October 28, 2005. This move could give the project more validity in international forums, as well as boost the confidence of all involved parties, believes a senior official of the Union ministry of petroleum. This is a run-up to the final framework proposal being signed by December 31, 2005. The 775 kilometre gas pipeline, often dubbed as "pipeline for peace", began in 1994 but tensions between Pakistan and India hindered its progress till January 2004. This delay escalated the cost of the project by at least US $3 billion. Work on the project is expected to commence in 2007 and would take around three years to complete. India would buy 70 per cent of the gas while the remaining 30 per cent would go to Pakistan.

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