Thursday February 09, 2023

Directive to finalise framework to curb smog

By Our Correspondent
November 26, 2022

LAHORE:Punjab Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal has directed the Environment Protection Department (EPD) to finalise the framework to control air pollution (smog) at the earliest. He gave this directive while presiding over a meeting held at the Civil Secretariat on Friday.

The secretaries of relevant departments including local government, health, industries and officers concerned attended the meeting while all the deputy commissioners participated through video link.

The Chief Secretary said that amendments in the environmental policy and the framework to control air smog should be finalised in consultation with experts and stakeholders. He said that the measures taken to control the smog have yielded encouraging results and the situation is better than that of last year, but more work needs to be done. He hoped that the Punjab Green Development Programme would prove useful in controlling environmental pollution in the province. He mentioned that work on farm mechanisation is underway to prevent incidents of crop residue burning.

Secretary of Environment Protection Department Usman Ali Khan gave a detailed briefing at the meeting. He said that real time monitoring of the air quality index is being done in Lahore. Due to timely action, there has been a clear reduction in the incidents of stubble burning.

He said that 1,521 industrial units causing environmental pollution in the province had been sealed, 1,172 FIRs registered and fines of more than Rs50 million had been imposed in the last two months.

In Lahore, 348 industrial units had been sealed and fines of more than Rs22.6 million had been imposed. He said that 85,000 inspections were carried out and 5,755 smoke-emitting vehicles had been impounded and 29 cases had been registered over burning garbage.