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October 22, 2020

‘Smog intensity to be lesser this year’

Lahore

October 22, 2020

LAHORE:The intensity of smog will be lesser this year while Punjab government has already declared it calamity and Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) initiated compressive strategy to control it.

Senior member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Baber Hayat Tarar addressing a press conference here on Wednesday said that strict actions were initiated against the factors causing smog while district governments and five departments were engaged to control the smog and support the PDMA on it. PDA is increasing capacity of the allied departments to control the smog, he said.

He was accompanied by secretary environment Zahid Hussain and DG PDMA Khurram Umar Shahzad. The senior member said it was wrong impression that only burning of rice crop residuals was the major reason of the smog. Rather, the fact is that agriculture crops burning contributed only 8 percent to the smog while 12 percent was contributed from the crops burning of India, he said, adding traffic smoke was the major cause of smog in the Punjab and this is due to use of substandard fuels in vehicles.

He said traffic smoke was contributing 43 percent to smog and 25 percent from the industries and 20 percent from garbage burning. In the lights of this data, the Punjab government launched a crackdown on smoky vehicles, besides reducing the vehicles plying on roads. He said planning was underway to reduce the number of pick and drops vehicles in the public sector educational institutions.

Brick kilns of old technology will be close from November 7 to December 31 and the duration could be increased if needed, he said and added efforts were under way for shifting the brick kiln to zigzag technology by December 31. He said locust control committees would also be taken on board to control the smog to stop crop burning.

Cleanliness awareness: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) launched a special door to door cleanliness awareness drive at GOR-I, II & III followed by an awareness seminar at a private school here Wednesday. The objective behind conducting this drive was to engage and sensitise the general public regarding proper disposal of waste, officials said, adding LWMC had been working for years to provide extraordinary cleanliness services to the citizens of Lahore. The team also distributed waste bags and leaflets.

Face masks: In view of the poor observance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for prevention of coronavirus, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), Lahore, has urged the government to make use of face masks mandatory. In a press statement issued here on Wednesday, PMA Lahore Chapter President Dr Ashraf Nizami, General Secretary Dr Shahid Malik and other office-bearers, after holding a meeting, said the poor implementation and lack of observance of SOPs among the masses at public places had posed a threat of spread of a second wave of coronavirus. “Therefore, we call upon the government to make legislation to make wearing of masks at public places mandatory with a view to protecting the people against this dangerous disease,” they added.