Government of the Punjab, Provincial Disaster Management Authority issued an order to ban some activities in Punjab to reduce / curb the Smog.
There is recorded evidence of persistent deterioration in the Air Quality Index of the city of Lahore in particular and Punjab in general, from satisfactory level to moderately and poorly polluted levels, which is likely to cause breathing discomfort, respiratory tract diseases including asthma besides heart related ailments amongst children and older adults specifically and the people of all age brackets in general;
2. AND WHEREAS, there is a continuous trend of new Covid-19 patients throughout the province and further overlap of conducive conditions for respiratory tract diseases due to smog could exacerbate the casualty rate in the province of Punjab;
3. AND WHEREAS, it has been corroborated by the World Health Organization that 4.2 million people die every year as a result of exposure to ambient air pollution and Pakistan was declared as the second most polluted country during the year 2019;
4. AND WHEREAS, the August Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Hon'ble Lahore High Court have already directed the Government to take necessary remedial measures for control of smog;
5. AND WHEREAS, the Provincial Cabinet of the Punjab, in its 36th meeting, has declared smog as calamity under Section 3 of The Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief), Act 1958, which has been notified vide Notification No. Smog-2020/10/Coord-1 dated 14.10.2020, hence it is mandatory to take all possible measures to contain and arrest the rapid deterioration of ambient Air Quality Index in territorial limits of the province of the Punjab.
6. AND WHEREAS, in my opinion there are sufficient grounds to proceed under Section 4 (2) (h) of The Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief) Act 1958, as an immediate preventive and speedy remedy and the directions hereinafter appearing are necessary to ensure public safety, conserve lives and preempt and mitigate imminent threat of smog in the province of Punjab;
7. NOW THEREFORE, I Babar Hayat Tarar, Relief Commissioner, Government of the Punjab, in exercise of the powers vested in me under Section 4(2)(h) of The Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief) Act, 1958, hereby order that there shall be a complete ban on the following activities in the territorial limits of the province of the Punjab:
i. Burning of any type of crop residue
ii. Vehicles emitting visible smoke and pollutants falling into inadmissible limits
iii. All industries working without emission control system and contributing to deterioration in Air Quality Index
iv. All stone crushers operating without wet scrubbers
v. Burning of all types of solid waste, tyres, rubber and plastics
vi. Sale and use of all types of sub-standard fuels
vii. All types of encroachments which cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic on public roads including footpaths
viii. Any kind of parking which may cause hindrance in the smooth flow of traffic
ix. All types of activities without proper safeguard which contribute in generating fugitive dust
x. Uncovered and open dumping/storage of construction material
xi. Uncovered transportation of construction and other material like sand, mud and cement
xii. Any unauthorized activity which may contribute to formation of smog.
xiii. For brick kilns:
a. All brick kilns built on old methodology shall not be allowed to operate w.e.f. 7 November, 2020 to 31st December, 2020 as per the order dated 17.09.2020 passed in W. P. No. 227807/2018 by the Hon'ble Lahore High Court
b. All brick kilns built on zigzag methodology shall be allowed to operate as per SOPs devised by Environment Protection Department, Govt. of the Punjab
c. All brick kilns have to be converted to zigzag methodology by 31" December, 2020 as per Notification No.SO(TECH/EPD/1-33/2013 (Vol-III) dated 31.01.2020 issued by Environment Protection Department, Govt. of the Punjab
d. No brick kiln built on methodology other than zigzag methodology will be allowed to operate after 31st December, 2020
8. Municipal offences under clauses 22 and 23 of Schedule 15 of Punjab Local Government Act, 2019 which relate to unlawful use of public space, contributing to pollution, will be dealt with under the Act ibid and all the Municipal Authorities and Waste Management Companies shall ensure water sprinkling on roads, streets and construction sites emanating fugitive dust.
9. This order shall remain in force in the entire province of Punjab with effect from today, Thursday, 15th October, 2020 till further orders.
10. The order shall be given wide publicity in official Gazette, daily newspapers, broadcasting through Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Television, other TV Channels as news item as well as social media for information of the general public.