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EPD writes to FIA for action over fake AQI readings

EPD minister says some unscrupulous elements trying to damage Pakistan’s image by reporting fake readings

The Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) on Tuesday approached the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take action against those spreading fake Air Quality Index (AQI) readings.

Punjab Environment Minister Muhammad Rizwan wrote a letter to the FIA Lahore director asking him to take action in this regard.

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In the letter, a copy of which is available with Minute Mirror, the minister wrote that some unscrupulous elements were trying to distort Pakistan’s image by reporting misleading or fake AQI readings from different unauthorized sources in Lahore on print and electronic media, contrary to information provided by the EPD.

Rizwan asked the FIA to take action against any individual or company that issued fake or unauthorized data on social media and internet without having any prior approval from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). He said the FIA should take action against such culprits under cyber laws.

On the other hand, Punjab cabinet’s standing committee on smog held a meeting in Lahore, but the EPD minister was not invited to the meeting. The meeting was presided over by Punjab Finance Minister Jawan Bakht.

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Senior Member Board of Revenue Babar Hayyat Tarrar informed the meeting about smog causing factors. He told the meeting that the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) was taking action against polluters with the help of other administrative departments.

During the meeting different suggestions were floated, including the closure of schools for a few days in some districts. However, the committee rejected the suggestion to close schools in the province.

The committee was further informed that all petrol pumps had been asked to sell Euro-V standard fuel in Lahore for one month. It was shared that the Lahore commissioner would ensure the sale of Euro-V standard fuel.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Hassan Khawar told the media that industries, traffic and brick kilns were the major cause of smog in the city. He was talking to the media after a court hearing on smog in the Lahore High Court (LHC). He said that smoke-emitting brick kilns and vehicles had been fined by authorities. “The government is committed to providing relief to citizens from the menace of smog and pollution,” he maintained.



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