Smoke-emitting vehicles in Rawalpindi are causing serious air pollution that is detrimental to the health of the citizens.
These vehicles are running on the roads un-checked as the authorities concerned have failed to protect the environment.
Most of the public transport drivers besides emitting dark smoke from their unmaintained vehicles were also found demonstrating their racing skills, in presence of traffic police wardens. Auto-rickshaws, old busses and mini-buses, and coaches were mainly becoming a serious environmental hazard in Rawalpindi by generating pollution during peak hours particularly in the evening as the city was engulfed with a blanket of smoke screens.
Uzma Shaheen an environmental sciences student said it was also observed that traffic police drive to curb outdated vehicles with poor maintenance to move on the city's roads has so far remained unfruitful in producing any desirable results.
The City Traffic Police drive to crack down on smoke emitting vehicles in the city was almost failed as it was again being operated at full scale on the city's road.
An official of the Traffic Police said that the traffic police's continued-drive against the smoke-emitting vehicles by imposing heavy fines and confiscated vehicles on the violation.
He, however, added that since this was the responsibility of traffic police to ensure hazard and noise-free traffic in the city, the traffic police would certainly tackle the issue as per the law.
When asked, Regional Transport Authority Secretary said regular inspections of vehicles to gauge pollution were being carried out and challans were issued in case of violations. Such exercise would be carried out in the future too, he added.
When contacted the Punjab Environmental Protection Department official said the environmental watchdog was also carrying out inspections of tailpipe emissions but due to limited staff and resource constraints was not able to continue the practice.
However, being a stakeholder in the environmental conservation of the city the Department was aware of the risk and working out a detailed strategy to contain the risk.