Pakistan

LAHORE – Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said the government is taking solid steps to tackle the smog issue in the province, especially in the provincial capital.

Addressing a press conference at Directorate General of Public Relation Punjab here on Monday, he said that Lahore was declared the most polluted city during October last year due to smog.

He said that Lahore was called the City of Gardens during the Mughal era, but now it had been polluted due to destruction and construction work in the city during the previous government.

“We will make it a green city again under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added. He said that Prime Minister had launched the Clean and Green Pakistan programme in which tree plantation, solid waste management, liquid waste management, toilet provision, and clean water supply were the key points.

He said that a meeting was held with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, representatives of different departments, kiln owners and other stakeholder were present.

“In the meeting, 14 points suggested by the commission on smog were discussed,” he added. He said the government would implement all those measures advised in the commission report.

The Advisor said that it was decided to establish 11 air monitoring stations in and around the city. “Out of which three stations have been activated in Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Multan, whereas eight stations would be established in the city area,” he said.

Amin said that there were four major sources of smog including smoke-emitting vehicles, kilns, industry and crop remains burning.

He said that brick-kilns owners had voluntarily agreed to shut down their kilns between October 20 and 30 and they would shift their kilns on modern zigzag technology which reduces smoke by 70 per cent.

The advisor to PM said that crop remains burning had been banned around the provincial capital and the department concerned was collecting data in this regard.

“Special smog committees have been formed to monitor and control the sources of smog in the province,” he added.

He said that special smog desk would be established in hospitals from where citizens could get help regarding smog-related issues, like asthma. “Masks will also be provided by these desks,” he added.

To a question, the advisor to PM said that Pakistan was in contact with India on the issue of smog clouds from the neighbouring country and a smog monitoring station was also being established at the border near Barki, here.

He said that Clean and Green Pakistan was a common programme so everybody in the country should play his role in it. “An awareness campaign will soon be launched in this regard,” he added.

To a question about tyre burning factories around the city, he said that action against these factories would be taken and he appealed to the public to register complaints against such factories. The spokesperson for Chief Minister Dr Shehbaz Gill was also present.