Growing concern for the environment has mobilised the government to take measures, particularly in reference to smog in certain areas of Punjab. This is certainly a step forward from last year’s strategy of shifting the blame to India, to a more proactive role this year. The government with its anti-smog measures is doing everything to ensure that all those actions that can prevent and reduce the current amount of pollution can be taken instantly. Certain goals set by the concerned department include the conversion of old technology brick kilns to zig-zag technology, the installation of air pollution control systems in industries, controlling vehicle pollution, checking air pollution from stone crushing and cement mixing plants and the installation of dust control systems.

This allows us to see the range of the work currently taking place, and due to the meeting of the cabinet sub-committee on smog for the implementation of anti-smog measures, we can identify how proactively this is being pursued. As many as 620 FIRs have been registered against violators of environmental laws. DPOs and CTOs have been instructed to take action against smoke emitting vehicles. Proper waste disposal is also included in the ambit alongside a commitment to devise a strategy for the abolishment of resource recovery units and to eliminate fuel adulteration in Lahore.

These are significant changes in the system which, if they materialise, can improve the environment overall. Once these short-term goals are met by the government and all the stakeholders, plans should also be made for the long-term so that the overall setup is less harmful to the environment. This can include the development of a proper public transport system, so there can be fewer cars on our roads adding pollution along with the continuation of the plantation drives, that can naturally improve the environment.