The Punjab government has directed the provincial home department to ban stubble and municipal solid waste burning in wake of smog that has engulfed the province, including Lahore.

The government has also directed departments concerned to stop stubble and crop residues burning through awareness raising campaign as well as punitive and legal action. Besides this, traffic police have also been instructed to take action against smoke emitting vehicles and to control traffic congestion.

An official on condition of anonymity said the government has expedited tree plantation under its environmental protection drive in order to tackle smog . "(The government) is taking preventive measures and making sure no tree is cut down or in case they are cut down, saplings are planted at new spots as per the policy," he added.

Experts said on Monday that greenhouse effect, Hydrogen Sulphide and 'high level reading' of pollution in the air are the major reasons of dense smog across Punjab. They said a combination of high level pollutants, calm wind and penetration of pollution from India is causing dense smog causing breathing problems, eye and skin diseases.

A senior official of the Environment Protection Department (EPD) said the chemical particles present in the air are turning environment into toxic. "These included carbon monoxide from India produced after the burning of nearly 32 tonnes of crop residue by its farmers, gases from the drains and waste material from hundreds of factories in northern and northeast Lahore,” he added.