LAHORE - Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said on Sunday the government was working to introduce electric buses in Lahore to combat air pollution.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Pakistan’s first-ever urban forest here, he said the government was adopting adequate measures to combat environmental pollution including switching over to Euro-5 fuel gradually and a meeting has been convened this month. Use of upgraded fuel would also reduce substantially the pollution due vehicles’ emission, he added.

Malik Amin said that electric buses would soon be plying on roads of provincial capital. He mentioned that on November 20, it emerged that the government had set to launch electric buses in the country to combat air pollution, while federal government had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with private ride-hailing service to introduce electric vehicles in the country.

Under the MoU, he explained, the company would introduce electric battery-powered buses and spend Rs 12 billion to expand its transport bus service in the country.

PM’s Advisor said that government in collaboration with private sector was also installing ‘vehicle inspection system’ here, and some of the inspection stations had also been installed.

The government was working to Electric Vehicle Policy that would be announced next month, he said and added that at first stage, all two and tri-wheelers (rickshaws and motorbikes) would be switched over to electric batteries in Lahore. He mentioned that electric batteries would also reduced the running cost of the vehicles by 70 per cent when compared with other fuel-operated (oil and gas etc.) vehicles. After the first phase, he said that public transport would be switched over electric/hybrid technology.

Malik Ameen said that third initiative of PTI government in this direction was to ensure clean and green index to change environmental behavior in all the cities. The clean and green index had been launched at 300 places in Punjab two weeks, he mentioned.