Punjab bans plastic, garbage burning as smog descends upon province
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As parts of Punjab, including Lahore, have started feeling the yearly effects of smog, the Environment Protection Department has banned burning plastic materials and tyres across the province, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.
The move came as Punjab Minister for Environment Protection Department (EPD) Muhammad Rizwan told media persons on Thursday that the provincial government had declared smog a calamity and initiated a comprehensive strategy to control the phenomenon.
Strict action would be initiated against the factors causing smog, he said, adding that they had launched a crackdown against the smoke-emitting vehicles and the brick kilns run through old technology would be closed from November to December.
Rizwan said traffic smoke was a major cause of smog in Punjab due to the use of substandard fuel, adding that the share of vehicles was 43 percent followed by industries 25 percent and garbage burning 20 percent.
Answering a question, he said the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) had drafted the new rules as thousands of cases were pending in the absence of any penalty rules.
The minister said the majority of industrial units were operating without NOCs and causing pollution.
Smog engulfs parts of Pakistan and India every year with the drop in temperature in late October amid rising pollution caused by multiple factors. Crop stubble burning is one of them, which continues despite a ban.