MULTAN: The Environment Protection Department (EPD) has decided shutting down all brick kilns from October 20 to December 31 in south Punjab on advent of winter season.
The decision has been taken to curb the spread of smog while FIRs would be launched against the violators. Talking to The News on Monday, EPD Multan Deputy Director Zafar Iqbal said the brick kilns were using traditional methods which would be not allowed to operate in Multan and south Punjab region because they were contributing in the spread of smog during winter season.
He said more than 2,500 traditional brick kilns were situated in Multan while 2,000 were operational across south Punjab. He said the EPD had taken preemptive measures to control air pollution and smog in the region. “Smog can continue for indefinite period causing reduced visibility. The south Punjab agriculture areas usually witnessed smog during winter when air pollution emitting from vehicles and solid waste burn contributes to promotion of thick smog and traditional brick kilns are the major source of spread in this regard.”
He said the department had requested all deputy commissioners to ban stubble burning under Section 144 in the coming days. He said the department had introduced zigzag technology to protect the environment whereas no new brick kiln would be allowed to construct in future without this technology. Those kilns which were found involved in violation would be sealed for indefinite period. The EPD official said zigzag firing kiln was a continuous, cross draught, moving fire kiln in which the air flows in a zigzag path due to the draught provided by a chimney.
Clerics urged to maintain peace in Muharram: The Punjab Peace Committee caravan has stressed upon all the stakeholders, including Ulema (clerics) and civil society, to play their role in maintaining law and order during Muharram to foil untoward incidents.
The peace caravan, led by Lahore mosque chief orator Maulana Abdul Khabir, held a meeting with divisional peace committee members at the Circuit House here on Monday.
The caravan is visiting Punjab districts on the special instructions of Punjab chief minister to intact law and order during Muharram. Maulana Abdul Khabir said Multan was the land of Sufis and saints who always devoted their lives for promotion of peace, tolerance and brotherhood. “This is the sole responsibility of all the stakeholders to play their role in foiling conspiracies to sabotage peace during Muharram.”
He said the clerics should consume their all efforts for promotion of peace during Muharram. He said all members of Punjab Peace Committee were making efforts to promote peace across the province in all the districts. He said mosques and seminaries were the nuclease of peace and the clerics are its messengers. He appealed to all religious scholars to refrain from delivering hate speeches.
Multan commissioner Nadeem Irshad Kiyiani said the people of the city always played their role for promotion of peace and foiled the sabotage agendas. Multan deputy commissioner Mudassar Riaz Malik said security would remain at high alert during Muharram. Pakistan Army personnel and the police force would perform the security duties.