Govt actively working to address smog issue: Minister

Staff Reporter

The Department of Environmental Sciences of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore arranged a national workshop on “Air Pollution & Smog: From Science to Solution” here on Wednesday.
Punjab Minister for Environment Protection Zakia Shahnawaz Khan presided over the inaugural session of the workshop while Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha, Chief Meteorologist Flood Forecasting Division, Lahore Muhammad Riaz, Dean Faculty of Biosciences Prof Dr Habib-ur-Rehman, Chairman Department of Environmental Sciences Dr Saif-ur-Rehman Kashif and a number of students, researchers, environmental experts and faculty members were among those who attended the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, Zakia Shahnawaz said that air pollution and smog were serious challenges and the Punjab government was actively working to address it. She said that clean air and water were basic needs for a healthy life and the government with private partnership was taking steps to ensure safe air and clean water for its citizens.
Speaking about the causes of smog in Punjab, she said that India burnt residue of paddy crop and the rising smoke from across the border had penetrated into Punjab and was causing smog. Emissions from industries and vehicles are also one of the causes of smog and various diseases.
Lauding the services of the university, the minister said that veterinarians are working for the noble cause of treating and caring of animals.
Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that it is direly needed to plant more trees, which is a cost-effective way to tackle air pollution and smog.
He described the history of UVAS, its five faculties, campuses, undergraduate & postgraduate degree programmes, development projects including establishment of Cholistan Veterinary University Bahawalpur, Khan Bahadar Choudhry Mushtaq Ahmed College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Narowal and running research projects won by faculty members from national and international funding agencies.
Earlier, Dr Saifur Rehman Kashif said that air pollution was one of the prime slayers in the world. He said that according to World Bank report 2014, on air quality in Pakistan, the air quality in Lahore gets worse in winter due to delayed rainfall and cold and continuously dry conditions concentrate all the pollutants in the lower levels of the atmosphere causing the smog to spread all over the Punjab.
The workshop was aimed to discuss causes of smog formation and meteorological conditions leading to smog formation, mitigation measures for the air pollution problems, make information about air quality available to public and suggest recommendations for improving air quality in Lahore.

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