CDGL confiscates gas cylinders over security risks, roadside restaurants use plastic and electronic waste to cook sri pai
* UET environmentalist says burning plastic releases highly toxic gases
* Sir Ganga Ram Hospital MS says sri pai must be washed properly, cooked over mixture of gases
By Abdul Manan
LAHORE: People throughout the city are eating the unhealthy and potentially hazardous ‘sri pai’, as these are prepared by burning off the hair of goats with highly toxic gases, doctors and environmentalists told Daily Times on Saturday.
There are two ways to cook sri pai- it can either be cooked by properly mixing the Acetylene gas with Oxygen, or it can be cooked by using various PVC plastic pipes, capacitors and electronic and plastic waste.
CDGL: People throughout the city have established temporary furnaces along roadsides, especially at the corner of every street in the Walled City. The City District Government Lahore (CDGL) officials had previously confiscated gas mixture equipments required for cooking sri pai, with a view that gas cylinders were too dangerous to be allowed at roadside restaurants. Hence, most people have started to use electronic and plastic waste as the tool of choice to burn sri pai at high temperatures.
Health risks: However, various doctors and environmentalists have strongly criticised the burning process that makes use of electronic and plastic wastes. University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Environmentalist Professor Dr AR Saleemi said that burning electronic and plastic waste released highly toxic gases, including Hydrocarbons, Dioxin, Chlorine and Carbon Monoxide. He said that when food is cooked over such toxic gases, it absorbs them and they adversely affect the health of those consuming the food.
He said that burning plastic and electronic waste to release toxic gases damaged the surrounding environment as well. He said that this adversely affected the health of the surrounding residents as well as those who come to consume the food.
He also pointed out that if sri pai was prepared by burning of Acetylene and Oxygen, the same food was not hazardous for health. He said that for those who are fond of eating sri pai, they should properly wash it before cooking it, and a mixture of gases should be used to attain the high temperature required to cook it.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Ejaz Ahmed Sheikh said that plastic waste emitted carcinogenic gases, which were highly toxic and hazardous for health. He said that these gases could cause serious damage to the throat and lungs. He said that sri pai, which is prepared by burning plastic waste, should not be consumed because of the unhygienic preparation processes. He said that cardiac patients should avoid eating the sri pai as it is a very high-protein food.