ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Friday assured the Senate that the government would make all possible measures to address the issue of smog and its repercussions in the country.
Replying to a calling attention notice in the Senate, the minister said that realizing the fact that Pakistan was one of the highly vulnerable countries for smog effects, several steps have already been taken by the government to create awareness on the matter.
She said that unfortunately some parts of Punjab were being affected by smog that was created by India. She said India must follow international and regional treaties to control the effects of its pollution by itself.
She said that smog with pollution was causing cancer besides affecting lungs and skin while it has also negative effects on the country’s economy. She said the pollution was also becoming a major cause of fatal accidents in the country.
She said that cities of South Punjab like Dera Ghazi Khan and Khanewal while Lahore is the major affected city from smog.
She said that on the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, several mega projects were initiated including billion-tree Tsunami project and Green Pakistan Initiative for the revival of vulnerable forest and protection of the environment to safeguard country’s future generation from pollution.
She said that in order to protect the citizens from traffic pollution, the Lahore Traffic Police have started imposing a fine on those vehicles causing pollution.
She said that there was a complete ban on burning of solid waste in Punjab and the government was working on a plan to use it for other purposes like renewable energy. She sought technical support from experts to address the issue of pollution.
Earlier, Senator Sherry Rehman on a calling attention notice said that the smog has been contributing negatively on the health of country people. She added experts have already shown their concerns over the impact of smog.
She said that strict measures should be taken to protect the citizens from the repercussions of smog. She added children, old age people and pregnant women were more vulnerable to the negative effects of smog.
She said that global standard on fuel cycle needed to be addressed. She said that Pakistan stands among major countries that were badly affecting climate change.