Lahore (Web Desk): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday announced his government's measures to combat smog and improve air quality in the country.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, the premier highlighted the reasons for smog in Lahore and adjacent areas.
He said that 70 per cent decline had been witnessed in the number of trees in the city during the last 10 years.
"Other reasons of Smog and Pollution are the burning of crops in India, our people also burn crops, the factories and kilns in Lahore. The major reason is the vehicles in Lahore", the PM noted.
Announcing future strategy of the government to tackle the issue of the air pollution, PM Imran said that Pakistan will move to better fuel Euro 5 by the end of 2020. It will clear the air by 90%, he said.
The premier added that oil refineries will be given a three-year warning period to improve the quality of oil produced.
“If they won’t adopt new ways then we will shut them down. Then we will shift to electric cars. Especially the buses will be hybrid or electric," he said.
The prime minister said that imported machinery will assist farmers to make use of the post-harvest rice crop, rather than burn it.
He said that the owner of brick kilns will be given financial aid to use zigzag technology which is more environmentally friendly.
"Steel furnaces and kilns are the most dangerous. We are removing the duty on scrubbers. This will reduce the smog and pollution," the PM announced.
Imran Khan said tha an urban forestry initiative in Lahore will see tree plantation over 60,000 kanals of land. The project will later be enhanced to other cities, he said.
"If we will not take action, this will impact our generations. This is a silent killer. The level of pollution and smog in Pakistan is intense. Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujaranwala are among top cities in pollution", PM Imran said.