Naqvi reviews anti-smog measures

Lahore   -  Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, during a meeting held at his office on Sunday, reviewed measures being taken for elimination of smog.

The meeting decided to make the urban roads dust-free for eradication of smog and roads would be washed for the prevention of smog.

 A task had been assigned to Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) to wash the roads of Lahore while Deputy Commissioners have been directed to launch a crackdown against those involved in selling substandard fuel.

The meeting was informed that financial assistance will be provided with the collaboration of World Bank so as to make the industries environment friendly.

The CM ordered to ensure implementation of Smog Prevention & Control Rules 2023 and sought a comprehensive plan from all departments concerned to bring down smog at the lowest level. He directed to seal the institutions for two months on committing frequent violation of anti smog policy. An advance affidavit should be taken from the farmers to prevent them from burning the residue of rice and other fields. Mohsin Naqvi directed that Vehicle Inspection and Certification System (VICS) and other relevant institutions should ensure issuance of Transport Fitness Certificate.

 Environment experts put forth their proposals and recommendations in the meeting.

 Prof Dr Sajid Rasheed Ahmad Principal College of Earth Environmental Sciences Punjab University said that motorcycle rickshaw was the main cause of environmental pollution. Prof Dr Sajid Rasheed stressed that a long term policy was essential for the elimination of smog. Kilns should be transferred to agricultural waste instead of coals.

Prof Dr Faiza Sharif of Government College University urged to give concessions to the industries in order to dispose of industrial wastes.

Zara Salman Chief Executive Officer Development Policy Research emphasised that smog like dengue and other diseases should be declared “Black Health Crisis”. 

Dr Shahana Khursheed Associate Professor LUMS said that electric three wheeler instead of cycle rickshaw should be promoted in Lahore.

 Dr Shahid Abbas Director Meteorologist Lahore informed that smog was expected to decrease due to more rainfall.

It was apprised during the briefing that slow speed of air by joining together with humidity and pollution gives rise to smog. Around 63 percent smog in Lahore is contributed due to motorcycle and Qingqi rickshaw and more than 11 percent smog takes place due to motorcar and jeep. 460 percent increase occurred in the sale of motorcycle and rickshaw during the last decade. Crop residue burning incidents in Sheikhupura and Okara are on the rise. Banning load rickshaw transportation in the northern Lahore can possibly reduce smog level. The building of a factory involved in committing violation of restrictions being imposed for the elimination of smog will not be de-sealed.

Provincial ministers SM Tanveer, Bilal Afzal, Javed Akram, Chief Secretary, Inspector General of Police, secretaries, Chairman PITB and other officials concerned attended the meeting while commissioners, deputy commissioners and Head of NUST Institute of Environment Science participated in the meeting via video link.

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