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Speakers Call For Joint Efforts to Fight Smog at NHMP Seminar

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SHEIKHUPURA– National Highways and Motorway Police in collaboration with WWF Pakistan organized a seminar on burning issue of smog titled ‘Smog- causes, impacts and prevention’ at the NHMP Training College, Shiekhupura on Wednesday.

The seminar aimed at establishing a consensus among relevant public and private sector on the roles, responsibilities and actions that needed to be taken to discourage the emissions, from transport sector, industry, crop residue burning, power sector etc, mainly contributing in smog formation.

Speakers at the seminar stressed the need for making collective efforts for controlling the phenomenon of smog formation.

Among the participant were present Commandant NHMP Training College, Sheikhupura DIG Mehboob Aslam, Deputy Commandant SP Ghulam Qadir Sindhu, Minister for Chief Minister Inspection Team Ajmal Cheema, Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Sumaira Samad, Senior Director WWF-Pakistan Masood Arshad, Secretary Punjab Transport Authority Chaudhry Muhammad Iqbal, corporate partners, journalists, academia, industry practitioners and representatives of farming community attended the event.

Seminar speakers highlighted main causes of smog formation, industries contributing in it, impacts of smog and suggested preventive measures.

On this occasion Commandant NHMP Training College DIG Mehboob Aslam said that during past few years smog had posed a severe safety threat to the commuters travelling on Motorways and Highways.

Many precious lives and property worth millions have been lost in road crashes resulting from poor visibility caused by smog. IG NHMP further said that road safety hazards increase with the changing weather conditions.

It is our collective responsibility to create awareness about adopting safe driving measures during adverse weather conditions, he further added.

Minister for CM Inspection Team Muhammad Ajmal Cheema stressed the need for coordinated effort by all the relevant departments to tackle the issue of Smog. He also informed that government is encouraging introduction of new agricultural techniques and working hard for awareness of farmers and other contributing stakeholders.

Additional Chief Secretary Punjab Miss Sumaira Samad stated that there is dire need to establish a consensus between the relevant public and private sector on the roles, responsibilities, and actions that need to be taken to reduce the emissions of PM2.5 particles from the all sectors and especially from transport sector. He informed that government is very seriously working to cope with the issue of smog.

Masood Arshad, Senior Director, WWF-Pakistan said that Lahore is among the 10 most polluted cities in the world in terms of air quality, according to air quality monitor AirVisual. Air pollution caused by traffic, industries, crop burning and burning of solid waste is major contributor of smog. Smog is significantly damaging human health, quality of life, and having adverse impact on economy and environment, he further added.

Dr Anjum Ali Buttar, DG Agriculture Extension, gave a detailed analysis of the direct and indirect losses due to the practice of crop residue burning. He briefed about the initiatives that Agriculture Extension had taken in order to resolve this pervasive issue as well as the efficient management of crop stubble.

At the end of the Seminar, souvenirs were distributed by IG NHMP AD Khawaja among the speakers of seminar and other respectable guests.— PRESS RELEASE