Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday insisted upon the need for a sustainable environment protection plan to counter the burgeoning air pollution crisis that has enveloped major cities in the country.
PM Khan chaired a meeting on pollution issues in the country, along with other Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leaders including Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Dr. Shahbaz Gill and others.
“A sustainable environment protection plan is need of the hour to fight pollution, especially in major cities”, said Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI while chairing a meeting on pollution-related issues in the country. pic.twitter.com/CLnLMT2CoG
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) November 23, 2021
During the meeting, PM Khan stressed that it was a part of PTI’s manifesto to attain a pollution free Pakistan, which included an aim to optimize ‘green cover’ of cities via ‘massive plantation’. He added that long term solutions were necessary to combat environmental pollution and directed relevant departments to begin work with haste towards realization of an effective plan. The PM also said that provincial governments be taken on board to curate a comprehensive strategy against pollution.
PM’s call to action came a few days after Lahore emerged on top of the list of the world’s most polluted cities. The Punjab government in recent weeks has been cracking down on factors like industrial activity and vehicular emissions to deal with the rising clouds of smoke that have enveloped Lahore. According to media reports, Karachi was also in the top four most polluted cities in the world in recent weeks.
In the most recent directive on the part of authorities, schools and private offices would remain closed for three days to combat smog in Lahore. The Punjab government issued a notice to make the announcement on Monday, which provisioned for schools and private offices to continue their activities online on their off days. The decision would remain in effect between November 27, 2021, and January 15, 2022.