THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Environmental bombshell’ (Sept 10) by Cdre (r) Sajjad Ali Shah Bokhari. Nowadays, there is a strong voice against smoking and the effects it entails on the smoker and the people around him. It has created awareness in the public regarding the negative effects of smoking and in return is going to prove good for the coming generations.

But there is another environmental ‘terrorism’ which needs to be talked about even more strongly so that the authorities concerned may take notice. It is smoke emitted by rickshaws and burning of the waste in residential areas.

Policymakers and law-enforcers just need a motorbike ride in any urban area to get the idea of agony every citizen bears on a daily basis. Smoke from rickshaws causes cancer, allergies and inflammation in the respiratory tract.

The same is true for the smoke from waste burning which is a habit of our sanitary workers.

What prevents the district and tehsil management from stopping these crimes is beyond my comprehension when we have Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965, and Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969.

No smoke-emitting vehicle can enter the cantonment area of Lahore, which is also a part of Pakistan. If this can happen in that specific area, where more than 90 per cent of residents have airconditioned vehicles, which saves them from smoke and air pollution, why is it not happening in other localities?

The assistant commissioners of all tehsils should be entrusted with the duty to eradicate this menace immediately. No further delay regarding it is acceptable, as it is a matter of public health and lives.

M. WAQAS SAFDAR
Sargodha

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