Environmental emergency in Punjab



THE Punjab Government has done well by imposing an environmental emergency in Lahore and other cities to reduce the smog which has been declared as a calamity.

While banning the burning of crop residues across the province, Chief Minister Ch Pervez Elahi ordered strict implementation of the plan to reduce the smog.

The phenomenon of smog is there in Punjab for the last few years causing serious health and environmental hazards but it is for the first time that a concrete plan is being implemented to minimize its impact.

The smog is caused by emissions of various sorts and as a consequence air quality is declining day-by-day and Lahore has become one of the most polluted cities of the world.

Apart from the telling impact on the health of the citizens, especially those already suffering from some kind of disease, the visibility impairment leads to fatal accidents and hampers economic activities.

The plan prepared by the Punjab Government should have been implemented before the onset of winter to minimize the impact of the smog but still its effective implementation would help improve the situation.

That the Chief Minister means business is evident from the instructions given to the concerned officers to ensure field visits to monitor the ground situation and take action against violators.

The CM has ordered strict action against those setting crops on fire, smog-emitting vehicles and transferring all brick-kilns on zigzag technology which are the main factors behind the problem of smog.

However, the magnitude of the problem calls for a more comprehensive approach that involves strict vigil against all industries causing environmental pollution, repair and maintenance of roads and streets, prompt lifting and proper disposal of solid waste and enlisting cooperation of citizens and institutions in overcoming the challenge.