Speakers at a seminar said on Monday the role the media in Pakistan was playing for raising awareness was considered crucial to educating the people about the concept of sustainable transportation.
The seminar was organised under the Pakistan Sustainable Transport (Pakstran) Project here.
It aimed at effectively engaging the media to report on social and economic developments and environment issues related to the transport sector in the country.
Select representatives of the print and electronic media also attended.
Speaking on the occasion, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, country representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), mentioned that the IUCN as a partner in the Pakstran project had initiated several activities to raise awareness about issues related to the transport sector in Pakistan through adopting a strategic approach.
He added that enhanced awareness about sustainable transport was expected to eventually pave the way for planning and development decisions that were to be taken in the country regarding sustainable urban transport concepts, thus influencing the achievement of Pakstran’s objective.
In his remarks, Dr Saleem Janjua, national project manager, Pakstran, Ministry of Water and Power, said that the objective of the Pakstran project was to reduce the growth of energy consumption, reduce emission and facilitate global efforts in mitigating emissions and improving urban development.
While talking about the event, Dr Janjua said that the tool of awareness-raising had been made an integral part of Pakstran and it was expected that effective involvement of the media would help in promoting understanding about the sustainability concepts related to urban transport sector which can influence a wider cross section of the society.
Dr Janjua further mentioned that the focus of all awareness raising activities under the project should be towards a gradual behaviour change in order to cause a shift to sustainable mode of transportation.
While speaking at the event, Muhammad Aqib Uddin, a specialist in the subject, stressed the need for having an integrated transport system for cities like Karachi and Lahore so as to catalyse and harness the economic growth and deflating social pressures from the crippling and unsustainable transport system.
He said that a development model for the transport sector that aimed only at infrastructure development would not be sustainable in longer term.
While making a presentation on the impact of transport sector on environment in Pakistan Dr Raza Mehdi mentioned that the road transport is the largest source of air pollution in Pakistan. Prof Dr Shabbar Ali, Chairman, NED University of Engineering and Technology, made a presentation on sustainable transport system and said that there was need to adopt the technology which served their needs.
He stressed the need for an integrated mass transit system as a main solution and the way forward.