Govt ponders over electric cars to fight pollution

Updated May 18, 2019

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs the meeting.—PPI
Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs the meeting.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday chaired a meeting on climate change and decided to introduce electric cars by setting up electric car plants for the first time in the country.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam briefed the premier on the climate change.

The prime minister ordered the authorities concerned to ensure conversion of 30 per cent of all cars running in the country into electric vehicles by 2030.

PM orders conversion of 30pc cars into electric vehicles by 2030

On the issue of possibility of heavy rains and flood in Gilgit-Baltistan, the meeting was informed that Shisper glacier in Hassanabad village of Hunza was posing a serious threat to residents of the area with each passing day as it has surged by three kilometers.

The prime minister directed his team on climate change to expedite the process of installation of a glacier monitoring system to monitor all glaciers in the country.

Referring to the government’s plan to plant 10 billion trees across the country, the prime minister said that it was a national project and the matter should not be politicised.

Later, Mr Aslam told a press conference that the government planned to introduce electric cars in the country by 2030 and that the move would have far-reaching impact on the country’s environment.

“Most countries are opting for electric cars across the world and Pakistan is far behind in it and once introduced in the country, electric vehicles will help save Rs2 billion worth of oil imported into the country besides reducing the country’s air pollution,” Mr Aslam said.

The adviser said that smoke emissions from vehicles were a major source of air pollution in the country and it contributed heavily to smog during winter season in Punjab, especially in Lahore.

He said that electric cars would help lessen dependence on LPG and compressed natural gas stations, most of which were shut down because of gas closure on different days especially in winter in Punjab and these stations would be converted into charging docks for electric cars.

Referring to the smog issue in Punjab during winter, he said that last year crop burning, one of the major sources of smog in Punjab, was banned. This year, too, he said, crop burning would be prohibited and the government planned to purchase the crop waste to sell it to industrial units.

He also announced plans to launch Green Rickshaws in the country and for this purpose the government was holding talks with different stakeholders.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2019