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LAHORE: The Punjab government on Thursday appointed focal persons to initiate joint anti-smog activities of Punjab Environment Protection Department and the industrial community to tackle the issue of smog.

The Minister also directed the Environment Department teams to inspect steel mills after 11:00 am. Punjab Environment Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja approved the appointment of focal persons in a bilateral meeting between the government side and a delegation of the Pakistan Steel Re-Rolling Mills Association.

The delegation was led by Ch. Waseem Qadir and included Chairman Ravi Industrial Owners Association Inam-ul-Haque Butt, Vice President Small Steel Rerolling Association Abid Saeed, General Secretary All Pakistan Steel Rerolling Association Muhammad Kamran and other office bearers.

Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) Minister Mohammad Basharat Raja while talking to the delegation said that the cooperation of the industrial community is imperative for the protection of the environment. “The purpose of the actions of the department of environment is not to challan factories but to ensure the protection of the environment,” he said.

He said that the teams of EPD and the district administration were fully active for the reduction of pollution, however he clarified that the raids of the teams are for the prevention of possible smog, their purpose was not to hinder industrial activities.

The delegation informed the provincial minister that furnaces emit more smoke when start but later on this quantity reduces, so inspection during morning time do not reflect actual position.

Accepting the demand, Raja Basharat directed that the EPD teams should inspect the steel mills after 11 am. He said all possible measures are being taken by the Punjab government to protect the people from harmful health environment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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