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Monday July 04, 2022

Body formed to address air quality challenges

By Bureau report
June 23, 2022

PESHAWAR: The Environment Department under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet has taken a lead role in implementing the National Environment Quality Standards (NEQs) by constituting an “oversight committee” on the “Clean Air Peshawar Initiative” 2022.

A press release said this is the most dynamic development by the KP government to improve the air quality in Peshawar.

It promises to address air quality challenges, improve coordination among various stakeholders, develop strategies and make recommendations for air quality management at the quarterly cabinet meetings.

The cabinet also approved an “implementation committee” comprising stakeholders from the government and representatives of the local governments.

This would ensure the implementation of policies and coordination from local government to the top level and bridge the gaps in “environmental governance” through a holistic approach grassroots.

Despite constraints, the KP government has taken proactive steps in terms of strategic planning and intervention in key sectors e.g. KP Climate Change policy 2022 and Clean Air Peshawar Initiative 2022.

It is hoped that various policy gaps and limitations would be identified by the “oversight committee”. The foremost priority should be the availability of real-time air quality data for accurate analysis and comprehensive air quality reports.

The quality air monitors would be installed at major pollution points in Peshawar and public health impacts of air pollution would also require primary data research for the identification of diseases/impacts.

A proactive transport and industrial sector task force would be essential to help identify key pollution points and recommend policy on mitigation, adaptation and/or penalties against public offenders.

Powerful lobbies in industrial and transport sectors that until now resisted adaptation or reform would pose a serious challenge to the government to overcome.

Advocacy at the community level through local government can help raise awareness among people about public hazards and prevention strategies.

This promising initiative would have a better outcome and chances of success if civil society and academia are added to the policymaking strategy with a research component on air quality and health impacts.

Comments

    Adil Zareef commented 2 weeks ago

    Public health hazards need to be highlighted for public to understand the risks involved

    2 0