Smog Accountability

The recent actions taken by the Pakistan Environment Protection Department to seal 11 industrial units and four factories for violating anti-smog rules deserve commendation. As we approach the smog season, it is imperative that all contributors, including industries and factories, be held liable for defying preventative measures put in place.
Pakistan consistently ranks highest in the world for having the worst air quality index during winter, resulting in countless respiratory diseases among our citizens. After years of grappling with this menace, the government’s concrete steps towards prevention are long overdue. To effectively implement and enforce environmental laws, it is essential that industries and factories that violate regulations face strict consequences.
Notices have been issued to multiple industrial units across various cities, including Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, and Multan. Violators have been fined a total of Rs. 900,000, reflecting the severity of their actions. By taking such robust measures, the government sets a necessary precedent for holding polluters accountable.
Pakistan’s consistently poor air quality during winter not only affects our environment but also jeopardises the health and well-being of our population. Thousands of individuals suffer from respiratory ailments each year due to polluted air caused mainly by industrial emissions. This ongoing crisis demands urgent action. By sealing industries and factories that contribute to the worsening air quality, the government sends a strong message that non-compliance will not be tolerated.
Critics may argue that the actions taken by the Environment Protection Department are too stringent and might hamper economic growth. However, it is crucial to recognise that prioritising public health and environmental protection should take precedence. Consequences for non-compliance cannot be lenient if we truly aim to mitigate the detrimental effects of pollution.
By holding industries accountable, we establish a strong deterrent for future violations and ensure a healthier and cleaner environment for all. Only through setting such a precedent can we effectively implement and enforce environmental laws that have often been taken leniently. We must vehemently support these efforts to hold polluters accountable and pave the way for a cleaner, healthier Pakistan.

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