Chief Secretary approves Rs250m funds for PEF

Reviews smog control policy and tree plantation campaign in province

Our Correspondent July 08, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Secretary Akbar Durrani approved Rs250 million for the Punjab Environment Fund on Saturday.

The decision to establish the fund was taken at a meeting at Civil Secretariat. The chief secretary reviewed the smog control policy and tree plantation campaign in the province.

The Environment Protection Department (EPD) had put forth the proposal to set up the fund with a seed money of Rs250 million. Durrani told the meeting that as per the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, smog control policy has been posted at the website of EPD. He directed all departments to submit their suggestions regarding the policy within two days. He opined that controlling environment pollution is a service to humanity.

"Every citizen should take part in this initiative. There is a need to work on an emergency basis to overcome smog issue," he added. The meeting decided to set a target of planting 30 million saplings in the province in three months during the tree plantation campaign.

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The chief secretary ordered that tree plantation campaign in the province be launched like a competition. He said that top achievers in tree plantation would be awarded prizes at district, division, and provincial level. He ordered formation of committees at the union council level to stop cutting of trees.

The chief secretary also asked the relevant authorities to launch a community mobilisation and awareness campaign regarding controlling air pollution and benefits of afforestation.

The EPD secretary briefed the meeting about causes, and harms of smog, and recommendations of the commission on controlling environmental pollution.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2018.



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