Pakistan Punjab provincial govt requests Chinese environmentalists to help overcome smog-related challenges

Lahore: Pakistan Punjab provincial government has requested the Chinese environmentalists to help overcome the smog-related challenges in Punjab, particularly Lahore.

Provincial Environment Secretary Rashid Kamalur Rehman held a meeting with Chinese environmentalists here in this regard.

The gathering included Chinese Consul General Zhao Shiren, Additional Director General (DG) Dr Zafar Iqbal, and DG Environment Zaheer Abbas.

A government statement said: “Discussions centered on addressing smog-related challenges in Punjab, particularly Lahore, as Chinese environmental experts provided practical suggestions for resolution.”

Environment Secretary Rashid Kamalur Rehman expressed the Punjab government’s eagerness to leverage the experiences of Chinese environmentalists in combating smog.

He also highlighted successful smog reduction measures already implemented, seeking further guidance from Chinese experts.

DG Environment Zaheer Abbas presented a detailed briefing on Punjab government initiatives, along with relevant governing laws.

He emphasized the regional nature of the issue, attributing air pollution causes in Lahore to 83.5% from transport, 9.7% from industry, 3.9% from agriculture, 3.6% from waste burning, 0.14% from commercial activities, and 0.11% from domestic sources.

Consul General of China Zhao Shiren, commended the efforts of Punjab Chief Minister, the Provincial Minister of Environment, and the Environment Secretary for achieving a 10% reduction in smog rates in 2023, particularly in Lahore.

Chinese environmental experts provided insights into the background, key research findings, and support for air quality improvement, sharing China’s successful strategies in combating smog.

They highlighted a collaborative effort involving 295 institutions and 2900 scientific researchers across China to control air pollution in every district and city.

Efforts are underway to formulate both short and long-term strategies for smog elimination as per directive of the Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

Smog has disturbed the traffic in different areas of Punjab and studies in schools have also been affected.