Monday December 04, 2023

DCs to take action against polluting vehicles, industries

By Ali Raza
October 11, 2022

LAHORE:Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has declared smog in the provincial capital as a calamity and delegated powers to the Deputy Commissioner Lahore to take action.

As per an order issued here on Monday by Senior Member Board of Revenue/Relief Commissioner Punjab Zahid Akhtar Zaman (Smog-2020/173/Coord-Il) all the activities that cause smog in the province have been banned.

Zahid Akhtar Zaman said that smog has been declared a calamity under Section 03 of the Punjab National Climate Act 1958 to ensure the protection of health and environment across the province.

Zahid Akhtar said that all activities that caused smog have been banned across the province and special teams will be formulated to control smog. He said that a smog control room has also been set up in the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) office.

He added that the smoke emitting industries will be closed and effective measures will be taken to reduce traffic smoke, encroachments and illegal parking across the province. Additionally, the instructions have been issued to the traffic police to take strict action against smoke emitting vehicles, he added.

The SMBR further added that the zero tolerance policy will be adopted against the violators of smog SOPs. He said that there will be a complete ban on burning of crop residue all over the province. He directed the relevant authorities to take action against the vehicles, kilns and industrial units that are causing pollution.

He further directed that in compliance with order of Lahore High Court, the fine of Rs50,000 will be imposed on violation of burning of crop residue, Rs50,000 on brick Kilns not on zig-zag methodology and if it was emitting black smoke the fine may increase up to Rs100,000. Rs50,000 and up to Rs100,000 on industrial units functioning without emission control.

The notification directed that Deputy Commissioners will take all necessary steps to control smog in their areas and take strict action against polluting vehicles and industries. The notification further stated that sale of substandard fuel will be banned, a smooth flow of traffic will be ensured. He said there was an evidence of persistent deterioration in Air Quality Index of the provincial capital in particular and Punjab in general, fluctuating from satisfactory to poor levels, which may cause breathing discomfort, respiratory tract diseases and heart diseases amongst people of all age groups.

As per notification, all necessary remedial measures will be taken to control smog with specific directions and fines pertaining to attendance of staff in private offices, polluting brick kilns and industry, stubble burning and smoke emitting private and public transport.

All the activities which increase smog like burning of any type of crop residue, vehicles emitting visible smoke and pollutants falling into inadmissible limits, all industries working without emission control system contributing deterioration in Air Quality Index and all stone crushers operating without wet scrubbers have been banned.

The burning of all types of solid waste, tyres, rubber and plastics, sale and use of all types of sub-standard fuels, all types of encroachments which cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic on public roads including footpaths, any kind of parking which may cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic have also been prohibited.

Meanwhile, PDMA in another letter said that all of the Deputy Commissioners have been delegated the powers of the Relief Commissioner, Punjab, to take all necessary measures to control and mitigate smog, in the territorial limits of province of the Punjab.