Punjab govt declares smog calamity
Punjab Minister for Environment Protection Department (EPD) Muhammad Rizwan has said that the provincial government has declared smog calamity and initiated a comprehensive strategy to control it and strict actions will be initiated against the factors causes smog.
Talking to media persons at committee room of EPD here on Thursday, he said that environment department with the collaboration of allied department launched a crackdown against the smoke emitting vehicles and brick kiln of old technology will be closed from November to December in this year.
Rizwan said that traffic smoke was the major cause of the smog in Punjab due to use of substandard fuel in vehicles as contributing 43% while 25% from industries and 20% causes liter burning.
Rizwan also cleared that that all the units/factories and kilns which cause air pollution have been identified and given a deadline of the end of this September before the arrival of the smog season to enable their units to control pollution otherwise they will not be allowed to operate.
Responding to a question, he said that EPA Punjab has now drafted the new Rules because in the past thousands of cases were waiting due to unavailability of Penalty rules, which will now be streamlined. He said that EPA will take stringent action against persistent defaulters i.e. units operating without obtaining Environmental Approval.
The minister further said that most units/industry in Punjab were operating without NOCs and were causing severe pollution, these units were also tax evaders. Environment Protection Department is formulating SOPs for small resource recovery unit and with the help of District Administration a crackdown will be launched against units of fuel adulteration, he added.
Rizwan cleared that brick kiln in the Punjab based on old technology will be closed from November till December. He also told about a report of BBC that according to report 04 crore children in Pakistan suffered from various diseases due to lack of proper control on environmental issues.