PDMA tasked with fighting smog in Punjab

By: INP      Published: 07:55 PM, 19 Sep, 2020
PDMA tasked with fighting smog in Punjab
–File photo

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) will be the chief coordinating body for managing Punjab’s plan for mitigating and preventing smog in the coming winter season. 

The authority will do research and policymaking, prepare SOPs and create awareness about the socio-economic impact of smog as well.

The government will incentivize the industry for shifting their industries on environment-friendly technologies while massive public awareness campaign will be run by the government to create awareness among the public about the smog and steps taken by the government to avert it. Furthermore, departments will strictly implement the SOPs in their respective areas. 

The decisions were made by Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht on Saturday while chairing the meeting of the committee constituted by Punjab Chief Minister on smog control.

The meeting was attended by prime minister’s aide on climate change Malik Ameen Aslam, Punjab Minister for Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal, Environment Minister Muhammad Rizwan, Head of Chief Minister Special Monitoring Unit Fazeel Asif, secretaries of environment, industry and transport departments, DG of PDMA Khuram Shahzad and additional inspector general of police (operations) and other officials concerned.

The minister observed that smog is the result of climate change in months of November and December and it becomes a disaster and should be fought accordingly. He said the world is fighting against the pandemic and this is high time to control smog on an emergency basis. The PDMA has been assigned the task of smog control after seeing its performance in Covid-19 control, he observed.

The PDMA will also procure required equipment for smog control, medicines and other related items. Furthermore, the authority will conduct training for shifting brick kilns on zigzag technology and installation of scrubbers under the Green Punjab Programme. The PDMA will ensure the implementation of comprehensive planning to control smog.

The Punjab finance minister instructed the transport secretary and AIG to ensure that smoke emitting vehicles do not run on roads and create awareness among the public about the consequences of allowing unfit vehicles to operate in smog season.

Hashim Jawan Bakht observed that environment and transport departments’ initiatives to control the pandemic needed to be revived.