Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) as part of his government's efforts to curb pollution and reduce the effects of climate change.
In the initial phase of the CGPI, 19 cities, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Okara and Bahawalpur, have been selected to compete on certain issues of public interest. They will be judged on addressing issues such as safe drinking water, solid waste management, liquid waste management, city beautification, cleanliness of streets, usability of parks, tree plantation, total sanitation/hygiene and community participation.
A launching ceremony was held at Convention Centre, Islamabad today, Radio Pakistan reported. During his address at the ceremony, the prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to making Pakistan "clean and green" and urged the masses to join the government's efforts.
The prime minister, in his address, regretted that over the past decade, Lahore had lost about 70 per cent of its tree cover as the city became an urban centre. He noted that pollution levels in Lahore had increased drastically and now pose a danger to its residents because no measures were taken to curb pollution and preserve the environment.
"This (deforestation) was bound to have an impact," he said and promised that the government will gradually increase funds for the initiative.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam also addressed the ceremony and said that students and youth were also being encouraged to join the campaign. The services of people who register and participate in the CGPI will be rewarded by the government, Aslam said.
Sharing further plans to protect the environment, Aslam said that the government aims to introduce electric cars to reduce harmful emissions.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government has introduced multiple campaigns and drives to combat climate change, including the Billion Tree Tsunami and Clean Green Pakistan.