Punjab CM announces multi-faceted strategy to address smog issue

Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has announced a comprehensive plan to address the persistent issue of smog in the province.

Addressing a meeting of Cabinet’s Committee for Anti-Smog in Lahore today, he said the provincial government has outlined both short-term and long-term measures to combat air pollution.

In the short term, immediate action will be taken to curb smog in six key divisions, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Faisalabad, and Multan. This involves implementing restrictions to create an instant impact on air quality. Additionally, Sunday market closures will be enforced to minimize pollution, while Saturday openings for markets, restaurants, and offices will be permitted post 3 pm. School closures on Fridays to Sundays have been proposed to ensure the safety of students during periods of heightened air pollution. Furthermore, the government plans to double water sprinkling in areas heavily affected by smog.

To promote sustainable transportation, Sunday on Mall Road Lahore will be exclusively reserved for cyclists. 

In the long term, the government aims to address the root causes of air pollution. A significant initiative includes providing subsidies for 10,000 students to acquire electric bikes, encouraging a shift towards eco-friendly commuting.

Moreover, government employees will have the opportunity to lease electric bikes, contributing to pollution-free transportation options. The installation of ionisation towers across the region is also planned as a sustainable solution to combat SMOG.

Additionally, the government has expressed preparedness for cloud seeding operations on November 29, pending favorable weather conditions, as part of a proactive approach to tackle smog challenges on a larger scale.

Caretaker Chief Minister Mohin Naqvi emphasized the need for a multi-faceted strategy that combines immediate actions to address the pressing issue of SMOG with long-term, sustainable solutions. The government is committed to creating a healthier and more environmentally friendly living environment for the people of Punjab.