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Friday, July 19, 2024  
12 Muharram 1446  

PDMA Punjab declares smog a ‘calamity’ in province

DCs empowered to take necessary measures to mitigate smog
A student walks with her mother to school amid foggy weather in Lahore, Pakistan on December 21, 2022. (AFP)
A student walks with her mother to school amid foggy weather in Lahore, Pakistan on December 21, 2022. (AFP)

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Punjab has declared smog as “Calamity” in the province.

“All the activities causing or leading to smog formation have been banned across the province. The Deputy Commissioners have been delegated the powers of the Relief Commissioner to take all necessary measures to control and mitigate smog,” the PDMA stated in a letter on Wednesday.

Burning of any type of crop residue, vehicles emitting visible smoke, and pollutants falling into inadmissible limits, and all industries working without emission control systems contributing to deterioration in the Air Quality Index have been banned in the province.

Additionally, stone crushers operating without wet scrubbers; burning of all types of solid waste, tyres, rubber, and plastics; sale and use of all types of sub-standard fuels have been banned across the province along with all types of encroachments which cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic on public roads including footpaths; any kind of parking which may cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic; and all types of activities without proper safeguard which contribute in generating fugitive dust.

Further, directions have been given to take necessary measures against uncovered and open dumping/storage of construction materials; uncovered transportation of construction materials like sand, mud, and cement; and unauthorised activity which may cause pollution.

Earlier today, the caretaker government in Punjab declared a smog emergency in the province while emphasising that the closure of schools and transportation would not be sufficient to combat the condition.

Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi chaired the meeting convened to review the deteriorating smog situation.

The government has made it mandatory for all school-going children to wear masks for a period of one month as a protective measure. Naqvi reiterated the importance of the decision while urging the masses to use masks.

The development came after the Lahore High Court ordered the district administration to declare a ‘smog emergency’ in the provincial capital.

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