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Punjab govt bans vehicles releasing visible smoke to curb smog

A commuter riding motorcycle amid heavy smog in Lahore. — AFP/Files  

Punjab on Thursday imposed curbs, including a ban on burning crops and barring vehicles from the road that emit visible smoke and pollutants, in its attempt to improve the worsening Air Quality Index of the province.

According to a notification released by the provincial government, there is recorded evidence of persistent deterioration in the Air Quality Index in Punjab.

The level has gone down from a satisfactory one to moderately and poorly polluted levels, which is likely to cause breathing discomfort, respiratory tract diseases including asthma besides heart-related ailments amongst children, stated the notification.


The following activities have been banned by the Punjab government to arrest and contain smog in the province:

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 a deterioration in the Air Quality Index

iv. All stone crushers operating without wet scrubbers

v. Burning of all types of solid waste, tires, 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 unauthorised activity which may contribute to the 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 31″ December 2020

b. All brick kilns built on zigzag methodology shall be allowed to operate as per SOPs devised by the Environment Protection Department, the government of Punjab

c. All brick kilns have to be converted to the zigzag methodology by 31 December 2020

d. No brick kiln built on methodology other than zigzag methodology will be allowed to operate after 31 December 2020 

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