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LAHORE: Director General Punjab Industries, Prices, Weights and Measures Ayesha Hameed has said that every citizen is responsible to control air pollution as the air quality index is a matter of concern and Lahore has become the second largest city in the world in terms of air pollution.

She was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Kashif Anwar, Chief Inspector Punjab Boiler Mohammad Nawaz Cheema and Director Azhar Hussain also spoke on the occasion while LCCI Executive Committee Members were also present.

Ayesha Hameed said that now the weather is changing and the smog is about to start therefore all the arrangements should be ensured well before the time and rules & regulations should be followed so that there is no need for stringent measures. She added that our department wants to provide facilities to the business community. She said that the department is playing a supportive role for the environment department.

She said that harmful emissions from the industry should be minimized to get rid of the smog problem. Last year LCCI has supported a lot in this regard.

LCCI President Kashif Anwar said that after the weather change, especially from November to February, Lahore and its surrounding areas are covered in smog. Smog is produced when factories burn solid waste, which produces sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. He said that it was good to know that the Minister for Environment and Minister for Industries in a high-level meeting have given task to the department to take all chambers into confidence regarding anti-smog campaign which is being launched in Punjab and strict legal action would be taken against any industry that violates the anti-smog rules.

Kashif Anwar assured them that Lahore Chamber being the largest representative organization of the business community stands with the government to control smog. He said that Lahore Chamber is already active in this regard and is organizing various sessions to create awareness about smog control. He said that steel sector is being encouraged to use scrubber technology and also emphasizing on plantation in industrial areas.

Kashif Anwar said that the perception that smog is only caused by industry is wrong. Other factors contribute to the smog, among which smoke-emitting vehicles are at the forefront.

Chief Inspector Punjab Boiler Muhammad Nawaz Cheema said that there is a ban on using tyres and plastic as fuel. We do not have gas which is an environment friendly fuel. He said that its alternative is biomass which is being used all over the world while furnace oil and coal are also being used as fuel. He said that those who use tyres as fuel burn tires at night because we do not have round-the-clock surveillance. This problem has to be controlled with the help of Lahore Chamber. He said that we have a lot of emission problem. A lot of attention is being paid to the environment all over the world.

Director Azhar Hussain said that there is also a problem of burning crops from across the border. If the wind from there is blowing towards us, all the smog is transferred from there to here. He said that one of the problems is the steel sector. The problem of boilers in the steel sector has been solved to a large extent, but burning tyres at night should be stopped. He said that all the SOPs will be written and given to the Lahore Chamber so that it can send them to its members.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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