PM Imran calls for immediate action to curb pollution

PM Imran calls for immediate action to curb pollution

PM Imran calls for immediate action to curb pollution

Countries’ poverty not due to lack of resources but leaders’ corruption: PM Imran—Image: File

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday directed devising a comprehensive strategy within the shortest possible time, to protect major cities from pollution.

“A sustainable environment protection plan is need of the hour to fight pollution, especially in major cities,” Imran Khan said while chairing a meeting to counter pollution and its impact on health and related issues in the country.

For the past fortnight, smog has engulfed large swathes of land in Punjab, mostly due to the burning of stubble, vehicular and smoke from industries and a number of measures

The premier directed the departments concerned to devise a strategy in coordination with the provincial governments to save major cities from pollution, by taking all necessary steps, at the earliest.

“In line with our manifesto, clean and pollution-free Pakistan is our top priority, and long term measures should be taken to deal with the climate change-related issues,” he said.

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A statement from the Prime Minister Office said, “we are focused on maximising green cover of our cities through massive plantation.”

The meeting was attended by Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, SAPM on Climate Charge Malik Amin Aslam, SAPM on Political Communication Dr Shehbaz Gill and senior officers concerned.

CS Punjab Kamran Ali Afzal, SMBR Babar Hayat Tarar also joined the meeting via video link.

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It may be mentioned that air quality in Lahore has been one of the worst across the world.

The US Environmental Protection Agency regards air quality satisfactory if the AQI is under 50, meanwhile, the AQI in Lahore has been averaging between 200 and 250, which is categorised as very unhealthy.

Earlier this week, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Bazdar declared smog a natural calamity for the protection of human lives in Punjab.

Usman Bazdar in his statement said that necessary powers had been given to the deputy commissioners to monitor the measures being taken to control smog.

Read more: Deadly smog continues to engulf Lahore

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On November 20, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill blamed previous governments for pollution in Sahiwal.

Without naming a political party, the advisor had said “they built a coal power plant in the lush green agricultural land of Sahiwal which has resulted in the city being ranked as one of the most polluted areas in the country.”

He had said when Prime Minister Imran Khan started the tree-planting programme in 2013, opposition made fun of it.

“The dangerous air pollution has caused respiratory and lung diseases among residents,” he had said sharing a report which claimed that Sahiwal with 394 AQI topped the list of ten most polluted cities of Pakistan, followed by Lahore and Bahawalpur.

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