The Marine Pollution Control Department has been setup by KPT in 1996 to address the Environmental issues related to Marine Pollution at the Karachi harbour.
The Harbour, which spreads over an area of around 62 sq. kms received diversified pollutants from land based as well as marine based source s. These include around 400mgd of untreated industrial-cum municipal waste from the city, operational wastes from hundreds of fishing crafts at Karachi Fisheries, refuse from various industrial and commercial premises situated on the perimeter of the Harbour and operational emissions from ships calling Karachi Port.
To achieve and absolutely clean and healthy harbour environment through adoption of Environment friendly practices working on the slogan “Environment Today Should Be Cleaner Than Yesterday”.
Following objective are set for well functioning of the MPCD.
· To address all issued related to protection of environment and pollution control in all areas within Port limits
· To undertake immediate, cost effective, low tech clean-up operation in the Harbour.
· To monitor the Oil Piers for detection of possible Oil Spills and provide a quick response.
· To ensure implementation of MARPOL 73/78, to which Pakistan is a signatory since November, 1994.
· Administer the Oil Spill Contingency Plan up to 1000 tons of Oil Spillage.
· Create awareness among KPT worker and port users regarding environmental issues in the Harbour.
· Training of Staff in combating Marine Pollution.
· House keeping functions of the Harbour.
· Efficient use of Pollution Control Equipment.
To meet the above objectives the MPCD conduct following activities on regular basis.
· Oil Spills Response
· Ships Inspection
· Harbour Surveillance
· Harbour Cleaning
· Environmental Audit in Oil Installations Area.
· Water Quality Monitoring
· Fitness of Oil/Water Barges
· Fencing of Oil Tankers by Oil Boom
· Monitoring Shore Disposal of Wastes.
· Rehabilitation of Mangroves
· IMO Workshops
Strict surveillance of the harbour is carried out once or twice a day during which pollution status form is filled up.
Also is there is any evidence/indication of pollution caused by any ship, craft or cargo operations, the polluter is issued memo and subsequently penalized.
KPT has arranged to collect the debris from harbor water on daily basis. One debris collection boat is built for this purpose which has been acquired by KPT.
In addition, four boats are also deployed during light hours. Furthermore, solid floatation booms are deployed at strategic locations to arrest floating debris.
Inspection of Ships
All ships calling Karachi are inspect by MPCD of KPT in accordance with International Convention MARPOL 73/78. Through this inspection it is ensured that the ships does not cause any pollution in the harbour. Records related to production and disposal of oil sludge/plastic during past six months are checked to verify if the ship has discharged this stuff in the oceans, which is strictly prohibited.
The Ship’s Bilge water overboard discharge valves” are required to be kept chained and locked in the harbour. Performance of oily water separator is checked and it is also ensured that the ship should not have any connection through which oily bilges could be pumped overboard without passing through oily water even in open oceans.
The inspection is conducted very strictly and in case of any contravention, which could cause pollution in the Harbour, the ship is penalized. The penalties have created sufficient deterrent and the floating patches of oil in the harbour which were commonly sighted earlier have almost vanished.
Oil Spill Response
The department has been provided with oil spill response equipment consisting of oil booms, skimmers, and dispersants spray systems, floating and onshore collapsible tanks, work boat etc, sufficient to combat medium sized oil spill. With an experience of around Eight years during which regular spill response exercises have been conducted.
Environmental Audit in Oil Installations Area
KPT conducts door to door environmental audit of oil and chemical handling companies in the oil installations and timber pond areas. Normal operational discharges are examined and companies discharging their operational wastes into sewerage lines are issued memos for explanation. Companies have been asked to improve their internal and external environment.
Water Quality Monitoring
The department has a laboratory for water monitoring of quality of harbour water and fresh water which is supplied to oil tankers. The Laboratory is equipped with Spectrophotometer, BOD Incubator, Dissolved Oxygen/TDS/Conductivity Meter and other devices for checking important pollution parameters.
Promotion of Awareness
Besides operational activities the department promotes environmental awareness among the general public in particular the port users, visitors and inhabitants of localities in the harbour area. The staff members of this department visit these areas from time to time for the purpose. Notices are periodically served to Hotels, Passenger Launches, Service Station & Stevedores to refrain from dumping their garbage etc in water..
Strict Port Surveillance is done by MPCD staff to check the cargo to handling activity which can cause pollution in the harbour. In case of dropping of waste/packing material etc the Stevedores is penalized.
Rehabilitation of Mangroves in Chinnah Creek
KPT has embarked upon a fresh project on rehabilitation of mangroves in Chinnah Creek. Under this programme, MPCD has setup two nurseries in Chinnah Creek Island. Saplings produced out of seeds are transplanted to the denuded areas of islands in Chinnah Creek. A new technique of sowing seeds in plastic bottles has been quite successful and thousands of plants developed through this technique are flourishing well.
Procedure of removing of Sludge/Garbage from the Ships.
The Ship Agents requested Manager MPCD through General Manager (Ops) to assign the task of removal of oily waste to the KPT’s sludge/garbage removal operator. Removal of Sludge is allowed only through road tankers. The Port Fire Services post their staff during sludge removal against usual fee. For each assignment the contractor has to obtain NOC from MPCD. The Manager MPCD, during ships inspection verifies if the requirement of sludge disposal made by the ship was genuine or not.
After paying Custom Duty and wharfage the sludge is transported by the contractors to their facilities where some of them separate water by gravity and some have installed fuel oil purifiers.
Sometimes the sludge is removed form the tanks of crude oil tankers in solid form in large sized polyethylene bags. Disposal of these bags after emptying is an issue as burning them is not acceptable to Environment Protection Agency