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11 brick kilns, 27 stone crushing plants sealed

RAWALPINDI:

In a major effort to control pollution and smog spreading further in Punjab, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Regional Transport Authority (RTA) have initiated a drive against brick kilns, stone crushing plants and smoke-emitting vehicles.
In this regard, EPA served show-cause notices to two big hospitals for violating standard operating procedure (SoPs) regarding smog control. The team comprising EPA Deputy Director Muhammad Rafique, inspectors Inamul Haq, Maqbool Hussain, Amanullah and Ata Muhammad took action at different locations in the district.
EPA team checked 73 brick kilns and sealed 11 of them which were emitting smoke besides registering first information reports (FIRs) against the owners.
EPA deputy director said that smog has started to spread in interior Punjab while next three months are crucial as the fog has started to appear early morning.
The operation against stone crushing plants was carried out in Taxila, Wah Cantt and Margalla Hills.
Read Around 180 brick kilns closed down
The action against brick kilns taken in Gujjar Khan, Mandara, Girja Road and Dhok Hamida.
Some 27 stone crushing plants were sealed and FIRs were registered against the owners. RTA teams took action against smoke-emitting vehicles on Murree Road, Bijanyal, Peshawar Road, Jhelum Road, Murir Chowk, Naseerabad, Airport Road, and Sohan Bridge.
The team inspected 887 vehicles among which 155 emitted smoke more than the threshold level.
RTA also seized 83 vehicles and imposed a collective fine of worth Rs150,000. RTA officials said they have set up pickets at entry and exit points of Rawalpindi district against smoke-emitting vehicles.
They said such vehicles will not be allowed to enter Rawalpindi and would be impounded and challaned.
EPA teams examined 18 hospitals to check if they were complying with orders and issued notices to two healthcare facilities.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2021.

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