CM directs steps against pollution

Calls for a realistic way forward to effectively resolve the issue

Our Correspondent December 13, 2023
Photo: Chief Minister KP/ Twitter


The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Caretaker Chief Minister, Justice (retd) Syed Arshad Hussain Shah, is taking a proactive stance on combatting air pollution, particularly in the bustling city of Peshawar.

In a meeting addressing environmental concerns, CM Shah emphasized the need for both immediate, result-oriented measures and a comprehensive, enduring solution to tackle the pervasive issue of air pollution in the province.

The directive from CM Shah includes a call for temporary arrangements to swiftly address the problem while simultaneously strategizing for a long-term resolution. He urged concerned departments, including the Provincial Development Authority (PDA), Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP), Transport, and Environment, to devise an appropriate and practical plan of action to effectively tackle emissions from vehicles, factories, and other sources contributing to air and environmental pollution.

Particular emphasis was placed on ensuring regular cleanliness throughout the city. CM Shah directed officials from PDA, WSSP, Transport, and Environment to conduct regular field visits, evaluating overall activities related to cleanliness, solid waste management, and control of vehicle emissions. Additionally, CM Shah declared his intention to make surprise visits to these sites personally, aiming to assess ground realities and take immediate action against officials found responsible for subpar performance.

The directives were issued during a meeting specifically convened to address concerns related to air and environmental pollution in the province. In attendance were key figures including Additional Chief Secretary Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, administrative secretaries of concerned departments, and other relevant authorities.

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The meeting facilitated an in-depth discussion on air quality reports for Peshawar, major sources contributing to air pollution, proposed measures for improving air quality, and other related matters. The progress report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was also presented during the meeting, offering insights into ongoing efforts to monitor and mitigate environmental pollution.

It was revealed during the meeting that emissions from the transport sector constitute a significant portion of overall pollution in Peshawar, accounting for 58.5%. Other contributors include roadside dust (17.7%), domestic burning (11.7%), industry (6.6%), waste burning (4.10%), and commercial burning (1.4%). This breakdown highlighted the multi-faceted nature of the pollution problem, necessitating a comprehensive approach for effective mitigation.

The authorities shared that a detailed appraisal and performance assessment of vehicle emission control measures have been carried out, with the findings shared with the transport department. They also highlighted ongoing efforts to convert traditional brick kilns into zigzag technology, with two such models already constructed.

A scheme for this purpose was reflected in the ADP of current fiscal year, under the first phase, a total of ten brick Kilns would be converted to zig zag technology. TEVTA has also been asked to start special training classes for the specific sector of brick kiln for the purpose.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2023.


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