Agriculture Employees of Punjab Lose their Primary Anti-Smog Responsibility

Due to the smog situation in Lahore and other areas of Punjab, people who work in agriculture are losing their anti-smog responsibilities.

In a significant move, the Punjab government appointed associate commissioners in each of the division’s tehsils in charge of keeping an eye out for and deterring fires in stubble instead of the authorities in charge of the agricultural sector on Tuesday.

The Punjab government decided after discovering that the agriculture officers—deputy directors and assistant director—deputed as focal individuals had neglected to perform their assigned duties.

“The removal of the agriculture officers from the responsibility of focal person has been made after it was observed that they were not taking action against those involved in stubble burning on the pretext of the jurisdiction of their tehsils, districts etc. Moreover, they were also not taking action forcefully in their own jurisdiction,” according to a statement by an official.

He claimed that the issue gained attention after some users shared videos on social media depicting extensive burns of stubble in agricultural areas, which caused haze in several areas of Punjab, including Lahore and a few major nearby cities.

In the meantime, the commissioner acted decisively in response to reports of widespread hay burning in Sukheki and other areas, ordering the assistant commissioners to take legal action against those involved.

According to him, brick kilns that don’t use zigzag technology must be destroyed. He stated that social media profiles, WhatsApp number 0328-9491760, and helpline 042-111-425-725 should be available for smog-related complaints and data.

Without delay, all pyrolysis plants that emit smoke must be destroyed. Twelve teams have been assigned, according to the commissioner, to inspect industrial units in the Mahmood Booti and North Lahore areas.

After dark, squads led by DPOs and DCs would monitor the Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura motorways in Lahore. During the conference, it was reported that 1,300 challans for unprotected trolleys had been issued and 5,700 smoke-emitting vehicles had been seized by the traffic police.

“DCs will be held responsible in case of black smoke coming out of the chimneys of factory or brick kiln,” the warning stated.

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