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The secretary of the Environmental Protection Department has held back all the EPD executives from giving away any data concerning smog.
#Smog layer thickens over #Lahore while #EPD asked its officials to stay away from media. #JournalismIsNotACrime #FreeMedia #environment #PTIGovernment #ClimateEmergency #imrankhanPTI#Punjab #TrafficMessOnRoads #SchoolBussesNeeded https://t.co/UmYW5Nzchd— Ali Raza (@pakijournalist) December 2, 2021
Any kind of interaction with the media has been blocked by the EPA provincial secretary backing it up by disciplinary actions to be taken if the orders are not followed.
At the same time smog continues to predominate the city with an average AQI of 350. This is said to be falling in the hazardous category. The layer has thickened causing the residents severe health issues.
The main reason is the EPD forgetting to take adequate action against the polluters and poor enforcement of SOPs. Some rumors have also been spread about the EPD permitting certain industries to secretly run at night most of which involve brick kilns.
Sources have also revealed that on 25 November 2021 the DG EPD also wrote a similar letter holding back the officials from associating with the media. Other reports exposed that the EPA monitor fixed at the Town Hall was not working. This was referred to as a ‘technical issue’ that commenced the closure of the station from the EPD later.
The AQI of Township, Gulberg, and DHA Phase 8 was 146, 398, and 397 respectively. Citizens are complaining about constant coughs, runny nose, sneezing, and irregular heartbeats.
Serious efforts are being demanded by the citizens from the government to combat smog. On the other hand, the latest weather updates are forecasting dry and cold weather to prevail. It is also been foreseen that the smog will be prevailing in the plain areas of Punjab in the morning and evening.
After ignoring the media for days a WhatsApp message was received from the EPD Secretory addressing the unavailability of the officials due to their busy schedule.