LAHORE: During a press interaction following the commencement of the cleaning campaign on Jail Road, Chief Minister (CM) Mohsin Naqvi discussed several issues affecting Lahore, particularly in the context of smog.
Highlighting the severity of the smog issue, CM Naqvi stated that Lahore is currently facing significant challenges due to smog, ranking it as one of the most polluted cities globally.
Addressing concerns about school closures, Naqvi said that despite the smog, schools cannot be shut down due to ongoing exams. Instead, winter vacations are scheduled to begin from December 18 to January 1, providing a temporary relief period.
Naqvi acknowledged the absence of rain in the forecast but assured that efforts are being made at the administrative level to address the situation. He attributed the rise in smog to factors such as dust and traffic.
To combat the dust issue, Naqvi announced the Lahore Waste Management Company’s initiative to wash 79 roads in the city, prioritising those with higher levels of mud. The cleaning process will occur twice a week, following a model inspired by Saudi Arabia.
While acknowledging the limitations of water spray in entirely eliminating dust and soil, Naqvi urged citizens to contribute by keeping their homes dust-free.
Expressing the government’s commitment to making Lahore dust-free, Naqvi announced plans to wash roads two to three times a week. He suggested expanding the cleaning efforts to roads such as Multan Road, Ferozpur Road, and Circular Road.
Providing specific details, Naqvi stated that road washing would commence in the Shahdara area that night, focusing on areas with higher soil concentrations.
Naqvi outlined the objective of minimising soil and dust in high-traffic areas to reduce smog levels. He expressed hope that the road washing initiative would contribute to a visible reduction in smog.
To implement the initiative effectively, Naqvi mentioned the deployment of a team comprising 100 employees, with four teams actively engaged in road washing.
Considering public convenience, Naqvi announced that road washing activities would be conducted at night, from 8 pm to 6 am, to minimise disruptions during the day.
Regarding artificial rain, Naqvi stated that work is ongoing, but success depends on the availability of suitable weather conditions. He urged patience and stressed the need for specific cloud cover for effective artificial rain.
On the topic of promoting eco-friendly transportation, Naqvi suggested using electric motorcycles as a means to save fuel and reduce pollution.
Naqvi acknowledged the challenges faced during the traffic diversion experiment at Garhi Shahu Chowk, admitting that it was not successful. He stressed the shared responsibility of cleanliness, calling on both the government and the public to play their roles.
To address dust concerns in various areas, Naqvi announced plans to involve housing and cooperative societies in the road washing efforts.
In a bid to enhance infrastructure, Naqvi revealed plans to begin the construction and repair of 302 roads in Lahore within the next few days, with a target completion period of 45 days.
While highlighting the federal government’s responsibility for procuring quality oil, Naqvi assured ongoing efforts to monitor and regulate petrol pumps.
In a concluding statement, Naqvi advocated for the use of electric motorcycles as a sustainable solution, highlighting the need for collective responsibility in addressing environmental challenges.