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November 26, 2019

Minister orders implementation of instructions on smog control


November 26, 2019

LAHORE:Minister for Environment Protection Muhammad Rizwan reviewed smog situation in the country and stressed need for adopting preventive measure and increasing awareness among people.

He was chairing a meeting at Environment Protection Department (EPD) here on Monday to review steps taken by the department to combat smog. The minister ordered for stressing all relevant departments to strictly implement instructions on smog control.

He remarked that no negligence would be tolerated and controlling environmental pollution was a service to humanity. EPD Secretary Salman Ijaz briefed the minister that after implementation of smog action plan, smoke-emitting industries had been closed temporarily. He said kilns using old technology had also been closed from start of November, and a complete ban had been imposed on burning of the crops remains.

There is a ban on plying of smoke-emitting vehicles, he added. A campaign on the social media had been launched to create awareness about the damages caused to environment by burning of the solid waste also.

EPD Director General Tanveer Warraich said that in the districts of red zone, Section 144 had been imposed and brick-kilns had been ordered to shift to zigzag technology. EPD Director Naseem-ul-Rehman told the meeting that there are more than 300 rolling mills, but the issue of smog is in the Northern Lahore due to industrial area, while Gujranwala and Sheikhupura had also been affected due to industries.

Until now, action had been taken against 205 factories over violation of laws. He said that for checking vehicles, 26 computerised units were being established and air quality data on website was being updated daily.

Women rights: Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Ijaz Alam Augustine has said the Punjab government is committed to providing all basic facilities to women. He expressed these views in a meeting with woman members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) here on Monday.

He said, "The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women reminds us to protect the rights of women.” He said violence against women could be reduced by providing them with education, vocational training and social support.

The minister said the entire Pakistani nation had deep concerns over the incident of desecration of the Holy Quran and, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PTI had endorsed taking up the issue at the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) forums.

He said Pakistan would present a resolution at the EU and the OIC platforms, demanding that such incidents be discouraged and stopped in future so religious sentiments of Muslims across the world were not hurt.

The minister said such attacks posed a threat to all humanity. He said the UN resolution on "Combating Terrorism and Other Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief" should be implemented by all the member countries.

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