lahore-The smog situation is likely to remain satisfactory in the provincial capital during the next few days with air pollution level expected to be around 200 on average at air quality index.

A recent spell of rain in the city had provided much needed relief to the citizens from hazardous pollution levels which had crossed 400 before the rain.

Whereas, anti-smog drive was also continuing in the city and other areas of the province carried out by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and allied departments.

A PDMA official on Saturday claimed that effective multiple steps were being taken to tackle smog situation. 

He said that a modern monitoring cell set up at the PDMA was closely monitoring the situation and steps in coordination with allied departments. 

The latest technology was being used to monitor anti-smog activities being carried out throughout the province. 

He said transport sector was a major factor behind smog as it was contributing 42 per cent of the total. To control transport related emissions, stringent steps were being taken by the PDMA, he said, adding a fine of over Rs 30 million was imposed on smoke emitting vehicles till November 18 in the provincial capital during the ongoing drive besides registering 4,998 FIRs. 

During the last 24 hours, he said that 218 smoke emitting vehicles were impounded whereas, 43 industrial units were sealed besides arresting eight violators. 

A fine about Rs1.2 million was imposed and 98 FIRs were got registered. 

The encroachments were causing congestion and slow traffic flow on roads, he said adding that operation was being conducted against encroachments. 

Ride sharing concept was being promoted under which single person ride usage would be discourage because when every individual would come on road with a vehicle, it would ultimately increase traffic and more emissions. 

He said electric vehicles were future of the country and a vital source to tackle environment related issues. The provincial government was working on it to replace old fuel reliant vehicles with environment-friendly electric vehicles. 

In the first phase, he said locally manufactured electric rickshaws were being introduced which would help in decreasing air pollution in the city. 

He said the rickshaws would be cheap and economically low cost than traditional rickshaws as these would be saving fuel consumption. Availability of spare parts related to rickshaws and its maintenance would be ensured. 

As major portion of passengers in the provincial capital used public transport, he said the government was planning to ply electric buses. 

He said burning of crops residues was also a major source of smog, however the PDMA was using latest satellite images through SUPARCO to identify stubble burning spots and prompt action was being taken accordingly with the help of revenue and other departments. FIRs were being lodged on stubble burning by the relevant departments, he added. Contrary to stubble burning in Pakistan, he emphasized that massive residue burning exercise was witnessed in Indian side which was also adding smog intensity in Pakistan. 

The PDMA official said that water sprinkle activities were also being carried out to minimize dust which was also a source of smog and water sprinkle activities were carried out in 1,020 localities in last 24 hours. 

Commenting on brick kilns closure, he said that all kilns operating on old technology had been closed down until December 31 and kilns using the latest zig-zag technology were allowed to operate only. December 31 was also a deadline for old technology brick kilns to convert to new technology, he said adding that the provincial government was also facilitating the brick kilns owners of getting loans amounting to 1.2 million to convert their kilns to the latest technology. 

He said that 32 brick kilns were sealed during the last 24 hours over laws violations.