KARACHI - Four effluent treatment plants have been approved in the current budget to treat effluent of the industrial areas of Karachi and Hyderabad, said Sindh Industries Minister Abdur Rauf Siddiqui. He was speaking at the 9th annual environment excellence awards distribution ceremony, organised by National Forum for Environment and Health held at a local hotel. He said the construction of first treatment plant in Kotri industrial area would be completed within one month to treat the industrial effluent which was currently being discharge in the nearby areas and River Indus. He said that the proposal for these plants were being submitted with the provincial government for the last four years but no funds were allocated. The minister urged the environment minister to hold seminars in various industrial areas of Sindh to create awareness among the industrialists about environment degradation and also inform them about the environment-friendly processes for use in their factories. We will bear all the expenses of these seminars, he added. Sindh Environment Minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal said that Pakistan was among top ten countries of the world which were being affected the most from climate change. He said allocation for the construction of effluent treatment plant in the current budget was insufficient. This amount should be increased for timely completion of these plants, he noted. The minister said that there was no solid waste management plant and no recognised landfill site in the metropolis to properly dispose of waste being generated here. He also criticised merciless cutting of mangroves along Karachi coast by land mafia and said this should be stopped to maintain echo balance. He said the provincial government has assured that environment will be included in the curriculum as subject from primary to graduation level. The minister advised the organisers to consult with the department before announcing the environment awards to ensure that only genuine environment friendly companies are rewarded. He suggested the corporate sector to go for renewable and environment-friendly energy sources like wind, solar and bio fuels. IUCN global vice president Javed Jabbar said that environment was being neglected in the country. The environment ministry has been dissolved at the centre and now only the Ministry of Climate Change has been created which is the only one aspect of environment. He called for holistic approach for saving environment in the country. Afzal noted that Pakistan has the capacity to store only 9 per cent of the fresh rainwater and 91 per cent is wasted due to shortage of dams and water reservoirs. WWF Pakistan president Khalid Mehmood pointed out that only 10 per cent of the raw sewage is being treated in Karachi which generates 600 million tonnes of raw sewage. Quoting a report, he said that River Ravi was among top ten most toxic rivers in the world as all the metropolitan sewage and industrial effluent is discharged in it. Mahmood said Pakistan was endowed with rich bio diverse resources as it has 5 vital ecological sites among 200 global ecological regions. They are in northern region, Indus River, Indus Delta and mangroves, he added. Earlier, NFEH president Naeem Qureshi said that out of 148 applicants, 73 environment-friendly companies have been selected on best performance during 2011-12 by a 3-member jury. NFEH Chairman Dr Kaiser Waheed talked about the activities of the forum and said that award had been instituted to recognise and promote the organisations which make an outstanding contribution to sustainable development. According to decision, the jury have finalised the name of following top 10 exemplary leaders, including United Energy Pakistan, English Biscuit Manufacturer, Lucky Cement Limited, Pak Arab Refinery Company, Agha Khan University, Oil and Gass Development Company Limited, Glaxo Smith Kline Pakistan, YKK Pakistan, Procter and Gamble Pakistan, Lotte Pakistan and the PTA.