LAHORE: A high-level meeting was held with Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in the chair. The meeting reviewed various precautionary measures aimed at dealing with the environmental issue of smog.
The chief minister expressed his strong indignation for not adopting precautionary measures for dealing with the situation arising in wake of smog and castigated the concerned officials. He inquired from the relevant officials the steps being taken for dealing with this issue by the Environment Department and other concerned agencies with the knowledge of the fact that a year has passed since the first occurrence of smog.
The CM further stated that concerned departments should have adopted necessary steps well in advance to deal with the situation and that a comprehensive campaign should have been launched to aware the people about the precautionary measures before the advent of the smog.
He also expressed displeasure over the publication of smog policy in the English language by the Environment Department and inquired the level of comprehension a common man will have the information if the instructions were in English. He emphasised that the layman should be taught about this issue in an ordinary manner in the Urdu language.
The CM expressed pity that the concerned officials had failed to fulfil their duty in this regard. He further added that before the implementation of relevant laws in the industrial sector, the concerned chamber of commerce should be taken into confidence. He stated that the industrial sector was showing performance after wastage of one year and even then the problem was too pressing for the solution to become apparent promptly.
The CM stated that the departments should have performed their duties diligently and if they have had paid heed to their obligations, then the situation would not have been this critical. Before the start of smog, the concerned departments should immediately come into action after devising a comprehensive strategy.
Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed that every possible effort should be made to deal with smog and line departments should work in an organised manner as there was no room for any leniency. He said that smog situation should be monitored continuously and a comprehensive action plan should be devised and implemented in consultation with experts and chambers of commerce and industry.
Provincial Ministers Zakiya Shahnawaz, Khawaja Imran Nazir, Spokesman Punjab government Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Chief Secretary, LCCI President and high officials attended the meeting.