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Saturday March 02, 2024

Punjab CM lifts smog-related curbs

By Our Correspondent
December 02, 2023

LAHORE: Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi presided over a meeting of the cabinet committee for eradication of smog at his office to review the current situation.

The meeting included discussions with environmental and health experts, who extended suggestions to combat smog and its harmful effects.After detailed deliberations, Naqvi announced that smog-related restrictions were being withdrawn and markets, restaurants, institutions and businesses would remain open on Friday and Saturday.

Additionally, winter vacation for educational institutions in Punjab will start on Dec 18. The CM directed the administration, LWMC and PHA to continue road cleaning and water sprinkling. He also ordered a crackdown on excessive smoke-emitting vehicles and tire-burning factories to ensure efforts are made to keep the air quality index low.

In this still, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi presides over a meeting of the cabinet committee for the eradication of smog at his office on November 23, 2023.—X/Mohsin Naqvi
In this still, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi presides over a meeting of the cabinet committee for the eradication of smog at his office on November 23, 2023.—X/Mohsin Naqvi

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers - SM Tanvir, Dr Javed Akram, Mansoor Qadir, Amir Mir, Azfar Ali Nasir, Ibrahim Hasan Murad, Bilal Afzal, CS, IGP, chairman P&D, ACS (Home), secretaries and others.Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Punjab directed the health secretary to make merit-based recruitment at Sardar Fateh M Khan Institute of Cardiology, Dera Ghazi Khan.

During the visit at the hospital, CM was told that suitable candidates were being ignored and incompetent candidates were being recruited upon which chief minister directed the health secretary to ensure recruitment on merit. However, the medical superintendent of institution Dr Abdul Rahman said that the recruitment process is going on, denying the allegations of corruption.

Meanwhile, the police chief of Jiangsu province in China Tan Yongsheng called on Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi. During the meeting, both agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between Punjab police and Jiangsu police.

The CM expressed gratitude for the Chinese assistance in establishing an effective policing system and assured that the provincial government was committed to providing every possible facility to tourists and Chinese citizens. He emphasised that China’s governance and policing system served as a role model and highlighted the importance of improving their own governance and policing system by learning from each other’s experiences.

Yongsheng extended an invitation to CM Naqvi to visit Jiangsu, emphasising the shared values between Jiangsu and Lahore. He stated that a comprehensive plan for cooperation would be developed, marking the beginning of a new era of friendship between the two countries.

Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, police officials and members of the Chinese delegation were also present.Meanwhile, the head of Aga Khan Foundation’s heritage department Luis Monrel called on Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi to discuss projects aimed at protecting and restoring historic buildings and places.

The CM expressed his appreciation for the foundation’s support and stated that efforts were being made to restore historical buildings and places throughout Punjab.He mentioned that the Walled City of Lahore Authority was already restoring several historical buildings, including Shalamar Garden and Jahangir’s Tomb. Additionally, the Qasim Bagh Fort in Multan would be restored to its original condition to attract more tourists.

The CM noted that work was ongoing to restore other historical places, such as the Lahore Fort and Badshahi Masjid. The recent discovery of a thousands-of-years-old city near Derawar Fort was also deemed a significant achievement.

Monrel praised the provincial government’s efforts to protect historical buildings and noted that the CM seemed fully committed to preserving ancient cultural heritage. The CEO of Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan Kh Tauseef and DG WCLA Kamran Lashari were also present.