Provincial minister Khawaja Salman Rafique chaired an important meeting of development projects in chief minister house. In the meeting overall situation of ongoing and future development projects of Lahore was discussed. Commissioner Lahore Capt R Muhammad Usman and officials of different departments were also present. Khawaja Salman Rafique said, "As per instructions of respected Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz, we are monitoring the situation of development projects of Lahore. All concerned departments are working diligently on this and we are seeking their advice as well. I'm quite hopeful and content with the progress on all these projects under the care of commissioner Lahore. Different departments are working in collaboration to complete these projects to uplift the living standards of people. And I urge all departments to submit their suggestions on how to improve the working on these projects."
Secretary EPD Doctor Naeem Rauf said that EPD is implementing the PGDP with support of World Bank to strengthen environmental Governance and promoting Green investment in Punjab. He said that all the allied departments have to work hard to tackle pollution, damaging environment badly. He expressed these views while chairing a high level meeting in P&D's committee room to review Health Advisory System by PGDP of World Bank. Professor Dr Fahim briefed to the chair that Recurring smog episodes with increased intensity and frequency call for a collaborative effort between India and Pakistan as regional cooperation is necessary to address the issue of air pollution. It was revealed in a study conducted by Environment Protection Department of Punjab’s Strategic Planning & Implementation Unit. Study titled “Preparation of Health Advisory System for Critical Air Pollution Events” further recommended that, a consolidated action plan to limit the Critical Air Pollution Events (CAPEs) and improving its tendency to accommodate transboundary air pollution to certain extents is mandatory. Project Director Waqar-u-Din suggested that Punjab Government must reconsider air quality management (AQM) components, such as setting targets to reduce air pollution levels, assessing air quality and source status, developing air quality control strategies, implementing policies on ground, and undertaking ongoing evaluation on frequent basis. He also stressed that the action plan should be a multipronged strategy dealing with policy matters, capacity building, institutional coordination, impact assessment, public involvement, and effective implementation. Secretary EPD Naeem Rauf said that Primary focus should be on air pollution hotspots for immediate actions and measures to be taken. While in parallel, strategies should also be devised to improve the air quality across the region. He also highlighted the steps taken by the Punjab Government to reduce the impacts of air pollution such as ban on crop burning, reducing emissions from vehicles and other sources. Punjab Government is willing to reduce the burden of polluted air upon its citizens but it was a common responsibility of all us. He also suggested to teach environment from Nursery to aware our children from the beginning. Representative of Health, forest, transport, police, Labour &HR, Agriculture, EPA, city traffic Police, PDMA, PHIMC, DGPR were present in the meeting
Secretary EPD Doctor Rauf Naeem chaired an important meeting on smog prevention held at the committee room of EPD on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by DG Environment Ambreen Sajid, Deputy Secretary Information Anjum Naveed and representatives of other departments. Briefing the participants about the initiatives taken by the department, DG Environment Ambreen Sajid said that all the concerned departments would have to take all preamptive steps to tackle the smog so that this disaster could be brought under control. Environmental Protection Secretary Dr Rauf said that in order to prevent smog, all factors would have to be discouraged, causing pollution. The emission of toxic fumes from vehicles would have to be stopped on priority while a comprehensive plan would have to be chalked out by all departments. He also directed all the concerned to prepare a comprehensive action plan soon so that it could be presented to the Chief Minister of Punjab. The establishment of smog committees at the district level is an encouraging step but there is a dire need to focus on public awareness campaigns, he added. Deputy Secretary Information Anjum Naveed said that Air Quality Index is being released on a daily basis from DGPR's platform to keep the public informed while spreading awareness among the people through social, print and electronic media. Emphasis is being laid but we all have to discourage polluting elements. The meeting was attended by representatives of transport, industry, local government and other relevant departments.
Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz chaired a follow-up meeting of his Bahawalpur visit on Tuesday in which commissioner Bahawalpur, who participated through video link, disclosed that 34 points have been identified for installing solar water pumps. The meeting was attended by Malik Abrar Ahmad, Khalid Mahmood, irrigation secretary and others. The CM said that a pilot project of solar water plants would be started to provide water in the Cholistan near homes and added that relevant matters should be finalized without delay as the government wants to resolve this issue permanently. Permanent availability of water should be ensured through water bowsers in outbacks of Cholistan along with setting up a dispensary for treating heat stroke and other diseases, he said and announced to visit Bahawalpur soon.
Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shahbaz chaired a meeting to review the law and order situation in the province. Provincial ministers Sardar Owais Leghari, Kh. Salman Rafiq, Ata Tarar, Zeeshan Rafiq MPA, chief secretary and high officials attended the meeting while Jehangir Khanzada MPA and RPO Sheikhupura participated through video link. The CM made it clear that no groups or gangs could be allowed to take law into their own hands adding that every possible step be taken to protect the life and property of the people. Indiscriminate legal action be taken against the elements taking law into their own hands on May 25 as permission will not be granted to challenge the writ of the State, he added. The police have efficiently worked to maintain law and order on May 25 and full support to it would be continued; he repeated and added that the responsibility of protecting the life and property of the people would be fulfilled at any cost. The CM was also briefed about the Chunian rape case and the safe recovery of a child kidnapped from Lahore for ransom. The CM directed to expedite the investigation of the Chunian rape case scientifically for a logical conclusion without delay.