LAHORE: In a bid to control smog, the district administration on Tuesday demolished 12 pyrolysis plants operating in different areas of the city for causing pollution.

According to officials, these plants were extracting furnace and crude oil from wires and used tyres and selling them in the market at lower prices. Thousands of litres of oil was extracted daily and in this process hundreds of tonnes of carbon powder was released in the air, they added.

Some of the plants, earlier located in Lakhodair area near the Ring Road, were now being operated in the river Ravi’s bed under the trees. The anti-smog squad had earlier sealed the plants, but the owners broke the seals and started operating them again.

The city district teams also conducted raids in different areas and demolished the structures of the plants over different violations, including illegal unsealing and erecting different structures without getting the maps approved by the authorities and causing pollution.

The district administration teams, accompanied by police, got arrested five persons for resisting the demolition operation.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali ordered registration of eight cases against the management (owners) of the plants for breaking the official seals, besides confiscation of all the machinery. Later, The DC held a meeting with the representatives of environment department, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) secretary, assistant commissioners, traffic police, Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) and Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) to take measures for controlling smog.

He ordered all departments to also get fitness certificates of their vehicles and submit the same in his office. He deputed officials on entry and exit points of the city, including Babu Sabu interchange and Saggian to sprinkle water on the road.

He said action should also be taken against the industrial units over violation of anti-smog protocols.

The officials briefed the meeting that as many as 1,551 vehicles were challaned and 501 others were impounded over violation of anti-smog SOPs, while cases were registered against the those involved in stubble burning and setting garbage on fire.

LWMC has established camps in different areas of the city for creating awareness about hazards of smog among the masses, the meeting was told.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2022

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