Changing Social Attitudes To Control Pollution Not Possible Without Involvement Of Civil Society: Minister


Changing social attitudes to control pollution not possible without involvement of civil society: Minister

LAHORE, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Nov, 2020 ) :Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Javan Bakht on Monday said that changing social attitudes to control pollution was not possible without involvement of civil society, educational institutions and the media.

He expressed these views while addressing a seminar on the role of civil society in controlling pollution organized by the Punjab Disaster Management Authority. Punjab Relief Commissioner (PRC) Babar Hayat Tarar, Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director Raja Khurram Shehzad Umar, Chairman Urban Development Unit, representatives from civil society and media and faculty members from various universities were present in the seminar.

The provincial minister said that smog was a form of air pollution that exacerbated by climate change, adding that temporary restrictions on industry and transportation were not the solution and shifting of industries on environmental friendly technology and electric vehicles required time and resources, which were gradually being ensured.

He said that the civil society representatives should be aware of the harmful health effects of pollution and discourage the causes of pollution. He said that students should be made part of tree planting campaigns, adding that NGOs and organizations should promote pollution control activities at the local level.

The minister said that the research scholars introduced ideas for a healthy and clean environment.

On the occasion, Punjab Relief Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar briefing the seminar participants about the causes of increase in air pollution and smog, said that the main cause of pollution in cities was smoke from transport which was 43% of air pollution.

He briefed that sustainable pollution control measures were being taken at the government level, adding that the process of shifting brick kilns to ZigZag technology was also underway. The Punjab Disaster Management Authority was ensuring operations on a daily basis.

PDMA Director Khurram Shehzad Umar apprised the seminar participants that since October 20, fines of Rs 39,394,340 had been imposed for discouraging smog-causing activities, 2,148 industrial units and 8,579 vehicles had been impounded, adding that 1402 kilns had been converted to ZigZag technology while the rest of the kilns were being converted to modern technology.

The Chairman Urban Development Unit informed the seminar participants that for the last 20 years no systematic traffic plan had been formulated in the city nor communication plans and coordination of various authorities for the construction of cities had been made. The present government was formulating a regular traffic plan with an appropriate plan for urban development.

The seminar participants appreciated the government's measures to control smog and the PDMA's mechanism, stressed the need to increase the efficiency of the Environment department and assured of playing a positive role in changing social attitudes.