LAHORE  - Punjab Chief Secretary Akbar Durrani Saturday approved creation of Rs250 million Punjab Environment Fund. The decision to establish the fund was taken at the meeting held at Civil Secretariat with the chief secretary in the chair. The meeting reviewed 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. The chief secretary told the meeting that as per direction of Supreme Court, smog control policy has been posted on the website of EPD. He directed all departments to submit their suggestions about the policy within two days.  He opined controlling environment pollution is a service to humanity.  “Every citizen should take part in this initiative. There is a need to work on emergent basis to overcome smog issue,” he added. The meeting decided to set target of planting 30 million saplings in the province in three months during the tree plantation campaign.

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 issued instruction to form committees at union council level to stop cutting of trees. He also asked authorities to launch a community mobilisation and awareness campaign to control pollution. The environment secretary briefed the meeting about causes, and harms of smog, and recommendations of the commission on controlling environment pollution. –Press release