LAHORE        -           Punjab Assembly Speaker Parvez Elahi has said measures are being taking to fend off smog.

“For the first time, Punjab increased budget for environment protection,” Parvez said while addressing the first environmental conference held by the Pakistan Muslim League here on Friday.

PILDAT President Ahmed Bilal Mehboob and Muslim League Rapid Wing Rizwan Mumtaz Ali also spoke while Kamil Ali Agha, Dr Zain Bhatti, Ahmad Faran Khan, Mazhar Ali Leghari, Amna Ulfat were also present.

He took a swipe at the previous government for ignoring environment safety law for minting money in the name of development.

He listed his feats when he was CM of Punjab from 2002 to 2007, saying: “In my term as CM under Vision 2020 Programme, Punjab did public service.

I had taken practical steps for combating climate change.”

The speaker continued: “I had established modern Environmental Labs in Gujranwala, Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Murree and Rahim Yar Khan at a cost of Rs200 million for enhancing capacity of the Environmental Protection Department (EPA).”

He said recently a Korean company presented a plan to get rid of smog. “According to the plan, the farmers needn’t burn leftovers after cutting crops and this company will compensate the farmers for the crop leftovers as it will produce gas through these leftovers. The Punjab government should immediately accept this offer,” he added.

“My government started installation of incinerator in the government hospitals to get rid of hazardous waste, he said and cited rapid increase in population, cutting of trees, expansion of industries, etc as pollutants.

Later, he distributed honorary shields to Eco Friends team leader Rizwan Mumtaz Ali, Khadeeja Farooqui, Shakir Hussain Shah and others.