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October 2, 2019

Crop residue, waste burning banned to ward off smog


October 2, 2019

LAHORE: Punjab Home Department has imposed a ban on the burning of crop residue, solid municipal waste, plastic and leather items for a period of three months across the province under Section 144 (6) CrPC, 1898.

The burning of crop residue, solid municipal waste, tyres, plastic, polythene bags, rubber and leather items etc can create smog in the rice zone, additionally, it can create problem for human life. It is necessary to adopt maximum precautionary measures to control smog in the country.

It was mentioned in the letter that the Punjab government has reasoned to proceed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898, as an immediate prevention and speedy remedy is desirable and directions hereinafter appearing are necessary to prevent danger to public peace and tranquility.

Home department took this decision on the request of Environment Protection Department (EPD).

A meeting on this issue chaired by Chief Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar decided to take action against those causing air and environmental pollution (burning of crop stubble, garbage, and industrial, vehicular emissions) as part of the Punjab government’s efforts to combat smog. Under Section 144, burning of crop residue and garbage would be banned, besides closure of old technology coal-fired kilns across the province.

In the meeting, the chief secretary said to mitigate the factors behind smog there is a need to adopt preventive measure and enhance awareness. He mentioned that the government was taking solid measures to deal with the threat of smog, adding that use of substandard fuel in factories and burning of crop stubble and garbage would not be allowed in any case.

He directed all the relevant departments to strictly implement the instructions on smog control warning that no negligence would be tolerated in this regard. He also urged people to play their role in efforts to protect the environment.

Special Secretary Home Department told the meeting that Punjab Home Department imposed Section 144 in the province, banning burning of crop residue, municipal solid waste, tyres, plastic, rubber and leather items etc.

The secretary environment told the meeting that old BTK technology brick kilns would be kept closed during the time to be determined in consultation with stakeholders and only new Zigzag technology kilns would be allowed to operate. Strict action would be taken against the violators, he added.

He maintained that workshops were being arranged for kiln owners to guide them about Zigzag technology and 316 kilns had been converted on this technology. He said that 130 steel mills had been closed for causing pollution whereas 46 steel mills had installed dry scrubbers to control pollution.

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