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LAHORE: The Environment Protection Department’s anti-smog squad on Wednesday sealed five pyrolysis plants located in fields on the banks of Ravi River for illegally manufacturing carbon and contributing to environment pollution.

It may be worth mentioning that the home department has imposed Section 144 CrPC on manufacturing transportation and use of pyro Carbon vide notification no.SO (IS-II) 1-1/2004 dated on 25/10/2022.

The anti-smog squad led by Assistant Commissioner Chaudhry Imran Safdar and officers of the environment department took action on getting information about these plants and sealed Qadir Khan Pyrolysis Plant, Iqbal Pyrolysis Plant and Haji Aslam Pyrolysis Plant on the spot.

The squad also sealed Javed Khan Pyrolysis Plant and Hamza Pyrolysis plant on the same charges in the same vicinity. Installation and working of the Pyro Carbon plants is illegal but these plants were working despite this ban.

An EPA spokesman said that these plants had produced 400 tons of carbon so far while their operation was still underway despite the smog season and being illegal. Secretary Environment Department Usman Ali Khan has also directed the deputy commissioner to demolish these plants gene sites and take legal action against them by getting the records of land owners from the revenue department.

Meanwhile, in a meeting of the departments concerned, Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi directed the department for provision of modern machinery to paddy growers for disposal of stubbles. The government of Punjab is ensuring to promote pollution-free agriculture and awareness is being provided to the farmers.

Secretary Agriculture Ahmad Aziz Tarar and the representatives of Judicial Water and Environment Commission established for control of smog Hina Hafeez Ullah Ishaq and Syed Kamal Ali Haider also participated in the meeting.

Briefing the minister, Director General Agriculture Extension Dr Anjum Ali said that 2,269 cases of setting fire to paddy residue have been reported this year, while 3,224 cases were reported last year.

This year there were incidents of paddy burning on 8,733 acres while last year it was 11,619. As many as 702 FIRs registered against people who were found involved in setting the stubbles on fire while last year the number was 1,503. The agriculture department set up 18,000 village volunteer committees to create awareness among the farmers and announcements are also being made from mosques.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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