Scope of Guidelines
Finding sites for new industries is an important economic issue for both Federal and Provincial authorities. Certain policies, procedures and guidelines are already in place to assist in this process. The grouping together of industrial users in industrial zones and allocated areas has become a popular way of encouraging and controlling industrial development. According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Investment there were 69 Provincially operated Industrial estates in Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan as of mid 1997.
Historically industrial sites have been selected on the basis of economic and technical factors. There are strong economic reasons for grouping together industries; transportation, utilities and support services can all be provided communally. More recently the siting of industries has taken into consideration environmental impacts both positive and negative. There is now more awareness of the public health effects and degradation of air, water and land which can be associated with industrial plants, and communities are less tolerant of disturbance from noise, traffic, odours and the visual intrusion of large plants. Public awareness in this regard has also been heightened by widely publicised disasters such as Bhopal which have indicated the potential hazards of locating industry too close to residential developments.
Industries are also becoming increasingly aware of the costs associated with environmental measures such as pollution control, waste disposal, accident response and remedial clean- up activities. The cost of mitigation measures is increasingly being integrated into the decision-making process of companies looking for sites for new plant. This in turn means that proper costing for environmentally sensitive sites can turn out to be prohibitive. On the other hand pre-planned industrial estates with waste treatment and disposal systems and other necessary infrastructure offer distinct advantages. From an environmental viewpoint the sources of pollution are concentrated in one area, avoiding the mixture of potential sources of pollution with other land uses, particularly residential. It does, however, mean that an industrial estate itself has a concentration of users in one location and that the question of site selection for the estate becomes even more sensitive and critical.
Industrial estates are categorised as projects representing a significant threat to the environment. They automatically require full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) treatment (Category A Projects). These guidelines cover all new industrial estate proposals where land is developed and managed by a coordinating authority and serviced lots are leased off to smaller industrial users. Services can include roads, rail link, water, electricity, gas and telephone. Most importantly industrial estates have the opportunity to provide properly managed treatment facilities for liquid and solid wastes.
In Pakistan industrial estates have traditionally been under the control of Provincial Governments. Estates have been developed and managed by Development Corporations or Boards under the Provincial powers. There have been two levels of provision for both small and larger scale establishments. NWFP has a Small Industries Development Board for smaller industries, while the Sarhad Development Authority looks after the land requirements of larger industries. There are similar arrangements in other Provinces such as in Punjab which has a Small Scale Industries Corporation and a Punjab Industrial Development Board.
The recent trend towards privatisation of activities has seen the setting up of private industrial estates in Pakistan. A 1000 acre site has been operative in Rawalpindi for two years under the control of the Rawalpindi Division of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There are also private sites in Karachi and Lahore.
Federal Government has also been involved in encouraging industrial development with the setting up of Export Processing Zones under the Export Processing Zone Authority Ordinance 1980. A zone is already in operation in Karachi and two more have recently been