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June 13, 2021

Pollution-free Peshawar: Online petition launched to gain public support

PESHAWAR: A civil society organisation, Peshawar Clean Air Alliance (PCAA), has launched an online petition to garner public support to fight pollution.

The PCAA comprises civil society activists, academia, researchers, environment and health experts and journalists. Dr Adil Zareef, founding member and spokesperson for the alliance, said they hope to collect more than 10,000 signatures of the general public and then submit it to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly standing committee on climate change and environment to solicit support for Clean Air Bill KP.

Dr Adil said the document received signatures from 800 people, who also shared their concerns in comments over increasing level of air pollution in the provincial metropolis.

He claimed that people appreciated the initiative and assured support in efforts for making the air of Peshawar pollution-free.

Peshawar is currently ranked as the fifth most polluted city in the country with unhealthy air quality days increasing every year, according to the petition available at http://chng.it/6MCWVzsh

An overwhelming evidence of negative health impacts is observed as the number of patients showing symptoms of respiratory & cardiac diseases, psychological, skin and eye problems, dementia and premature deaths is increasing across the city and countrywide, the petition’s content further reads.

This situation calls for a public health emergency requiring immediate action by the government through effective policymaking and a pragmatic approach towards implementation of measures to mitigate air pollution, it added.

The Peshawar Air Alliance, Dr Adil said, aims to provide systematic support in identifying the major polluters, spatial coverage of pollutants, health and environmental impacts as well as strategic strategies to curtail emissions on policy level in support of the KP government which has shown tremendous interest in climate change issues.

PCAA’s vision is to increase the total number of clean air days in Peshawar to over 100 a year by 2025, primarily by cutting levels of air pollution at source, while simultaneously encouraging behavioural changes within people, he added.