The administrative departments during a meeting with Minister Environment Zakia Shahnawaz have admitted that they have failed to implement ban on smoke emitting vehicles.
The minister held a meeting with all the relevant departmental heads who made alarming disclosures. Secretary Environment Iqbal Chauchan informed the meeting that Lahore High Court had imposed ban on 2-stroke rickshaws in 2005 and December 31, 2007 was the target date for phasing out of existing 2-stroke rickshaws from the province.
He claimed that later on deadline for the conversion of 2-stroke engine rickshaws was March 2010 as per commitment of the Punjab government with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Nevertheless, Secretary Environment Punjab observed in the meeting that no concrete steps have been taken while the deadline was 2007 by LHC and afterwards March 2010 was the deadline by SC.
Muhammad Masoud Anwas Additional Secretary Transport informed the meeting that a fully equipped/computerized Vehicle Fitness Testing Center will be inaugurated in June 2016.
He admitted before meeting that 2-stroke engine motorcycle rickshaws are the major contributor of vehicular pollution in major centers like Lahore and they are requiring integrated efforts to address this issue.
Likewise the representatives from Excise department and Police department made identical disclosures.
Finally the minister directed for initiating a special joint campaign against the smoke emitting and noise generating vehicles from the current month besides constituting four “Environmental Squads comprising representatives of traffic police, transport department and environment department including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi. She further directed the doctors and the DCOs for completely banning 2-stoke rickshaws in all the districts.