'Silent killer': PM Imran announces major steps to curb air pollution
LAHORE - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced revolutionary steps to improve air quality in the country by curbing causes to the pollution.
He was talking to media during a signing ceremony of Service Level Agreement between Punjab Lang Record Authority and major private commercial banks for rapid agri loans, in Lahore.
Highlighting the reasons for smog in Lahore and adjacent areas, he said that upto 70 percent trees had been cut down causing intensity in the pollution.
"Other reasons of Smog and Pollution are the burning of crops in India, our people also burn crops, the factories and kilns in Lahore. The major reason is the vehicles in Lahore."
Announcing his government's future strategy, he said that Pakistan will move to better fuel Euro 5 by the end of 2020. It will clear the air by 90%, he added.
He said that oil refineries will be three years to clear the fuel, adding, "Their fuel is more polluted". The refineries will be shut down on not adopting the advanced ways.
"Then we will shift to electric cars. Especially the buses will be hybrid or electric," another step announced by the premier.
"Steel furnaces and kilns are the most dangerous. We are removing the duty on scrubbers. This will reduce the smog and pollution," he announced.
Scrubber systems are a diverse group of air pollution control devices that can be used to remove some particulates and/or gases from industrial exhaust streams.
He unveiled a plan of developing urban forestry in Lahore over 6,000 kanal area to beat the smog. The project will later be enhanced to other cities.
Terming burning of crop residue after harvesting a key challenge, the premier said that government will spend Rs30 billion to motivate the farmers to cut it instead of burning it.
"If we will not take action, this will impact our generations. This is a silent killer. The level of pollution & smog in Pakistan is intense. Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujaranwala are among top cities in pollution".
Earlier, Lahore had two centers which were not working. Now we are making 30 centers in Lahore which will give an accurate result. Global warming is an international issue :
Climate change has negative effects which we cannot counter alone, we need to plant trees. Second thing is pollution and smog which comes in Winter. When we will have these monitoring centers, then we will be able to measure it in a better way
Euro4 is the clean fuel. Now you have to decide whether to pay a bit more on fuel or to sacrifice the lives of your kids and old one. We have taken a decision. We have decided to do it gradually
Pakistan Out of Economic Crisis
Giving hopes to skyrocketing inflation-hit people, the prime minister said that Pakistan was out of the economic crisis, adding, "Stock market is doing good, investment is coming in. Now we are moving forward".
"I’m thankful to Allah & my economic team because they brought the country out of crisis," he said.
Lashing out at opposition, he said: "They all have same purpose; they fear if Government will succeed their business will end. Kashmir cause has never been internationalise the way we did. This is a mafia, their interest is not Pakistan, their interest is to save their own money".
"The government now will focus on growth, employment, construction," he announced.
Reshuffling in Punjab's Bureaucracy To Improve Governance
The prime minister said future of Punjab was bright but there were needed more improvement in its governance system. Responding to a question about recent changes in Punjab's bureaucracy, he said that these changes were made after three weeks long delibration.
"We have brought best Bureaucrat and IG who has respectable status in Police. Now you will see how Punjab will change. When you will compare old Punjab with new one, you will see how much better current one is".
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