EPD directed to finalise framework to control smog

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Punjab Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal directed the Environment Protection Department on Friday to finalise the framework to control air pollu-tion, especially smog, at the earliest.

He gave this directive while presiding over a meeting held to review the measures being taken to control smog, at the Civil Secretariat. The secretaries of relevant departments including local government, health, industries, and officers concerned attended the meeting while all deputy commissioners participated through video link.

The chief secretary said amendments to the envi-ronmental policy and the framework to control air pollution (smog) should be finalised in consultation with experts and stakeholders. He said that the measures taken to control the smog had yielded encouraging results and the situation was better than that of last year, but more work needs to be done. He hoped that the Punjab Green Development Pro-gramme would prove useful in controlling environ-mental pollution in the province.

He mentioned that work on farm mechanisation is under way to prevent incidents of crop residue burn-ing. Environment Protection Department Secretary Usman Ali Khan gave a detailed briefing at the meeting.

He said that real-time monitoring of the air quality index was being done in Lahore. Due to timely action, there has been a clear reduction in the incidents of stubble burning, he added.

He said that in the last two months, 1,521 industrial units causing environmental pollution in the province had been sealed, 1,172 FIRs registered and fine of more than Rs 50 million imposed.

In Lahore, 348 industrial units had been sealed and fine of more than Rs 22.6 million had been imposed.

He said that 85,000 inspections were carried out and 5,755 smoke-emitting vehicles had been impounded and 29 cases registered over burning of garbage.