In a determined effort to combat air pollution, Ibrahim Hasan Murad, the Caretaker Minister for Transport in Punjab, has disclosed striking statistics on the government’s recent crackdown against smoke-emitting vehicles. The official data highlights a substantial impact, with over 1700 vehicles impounded and fines totaling Rs. 80 million imposed in just the last few weeks.
According to Minister Murad, out of the 71,000 vehicles inspected, a concerning 5.6 percent were found to be in violation of the government’s emission reduction directives, emitting harmful smoke into the atmosphere. These findings underscore the severity of the issue and the necessity of stringent measures.
Speaking to a local media outlet, Murad emphasized that the Punjab Transport Authority Enforcement Wing is not limiting its actions to individual vehicles alone. The authorities are also taking decisive action against vehicles affiliated with private schools, colleges, and universities. Notably, motorcycles have been identified as the primary contributors to pollution, marking a key focus area for the government’s intervention.
In a nuanced approach, Murad disclosed that while other vehicles violating emission standards face impoundment, motorcyclists, often belonging to the labor class, receive fines and warnings. This approach acknowledges socio-economic considerations while addressing the critical need to curb air pollution.
Moreover, Minister Murad revealed that the government is utilizing cloud seeding as a strategic measure to increase the probability of rain. This innovative approach aligns with broader environmental goals to mitigate the impact of air pollution.
Following these robust efforts, there has been a noticeable improvement in the air quality index (AQI) in Punjab. Consequently, the provincial government has taken the decision to lift the smart lockdown imposed to combat the smog. Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi, in a statement on X (formerly Twitter), announced that this decision was made after thorough consultations with experts and the Punjab Environment Department.
The move to lift the smart lockdown reflects the positive outcomes of the government’s initiatives and underscores the commitment to environmental stewardship. As Punjab emerges from the smog-related challenges, it serves as a testament to the impact of targeted interventions and collaborative efforts in safeguarding the region’s air quality.
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