LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi has announced plans to address the health hazards caused by smog in Lahore. The government will install a minimum of 12 “air filter ionization units” or anti smog towers in the provincial capital. Additionally, the province will implement a ban on combustion engine motorbikes, allowing only electric bikes for purchase, as part of the initiative.
The announcement coincided with a weekly lockdown in ten districts of Punjab. Chief Minister Naqvi stated that the government is actively working to control smog, seeking assistance from Chinese experts who will visit Lahore soon. A technical team from Punjab is also scheduled to visit Almaty.
In efforts to combat smog, Naqvi encouraged the public to wear masks and revealed government plans to induce artificial rain in the city. A crackdown against unregistered Qinqi rickshaws is on the horizon, with existing owners given the opportunity to register for free before the enforcement.
The chief minister outlined additional measures, including the establishment of an environmental watchdog and the enforcement of quality controls to prevent the sale of substandard fuel at fuel stations in Punjab.
Meanwhile, a smog lockdown affected ten districts, including Lahore, Nankana, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujarat, Sialkot, Narowal, Hafizabad, and Mandi Bahauddin. The lockdown mandated the closure of schools, colleges, and universities, with markets, shops, gyms, cinema houses, and offices permitted to open only after 3 pm.