PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has allocated Rs239 Million to address environmental problems in the province. Rs70 Million will be used to purchase mobile air quality monitor stations for Peshawar.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), currently has no air quality monitoring station located in the provincial capital.
Dawn was informed by officials that the Provincial Development Working Party, (PDWP), had approved a PC-1 with this effect towards end of last year.
Additionally, the KP EPA, provincial environment department, and the KP EPA have proposed several measures to reduce high concentrations (PM 2.5) of particulate matter in the capital.
Peshawar will get mobile air quality monitoring station at Rs70m
An earlier month federal EPA report about Peshawars air quality showed that there were high levels of PM2.5 in the provincial capital. The situation was even worse near the roadsides.
The EPA conducted an air monitoring survey in four areas of the provincial capital. With technical assistance from the federal EPA, it found that the level PM 2.5, which is inhalable particulate in the air, was all-time high between Hayatabad and the urban area. According to the survey, the highest points were located near Haji Camp Adda along the roadsides.
Dr Shahzad Khan Bangash, chief secretary of the province, also gave specific tasks and instructions to the relevant departments to implement appropriate measures to reduce the air pollution in the provincial capital.
Officials stated that the transport department was given the task of controlling the emissions from poorly tuned petrol and diesel vehicles.
According to an official document, the Transport department should increase vehicle inspections and remove any vehicles that are not in compliance with standards. The local government department was also given the responsibility of improving the shoulders and dust on unpaved roads, as well as the median.
The document stated that the LG department and Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar must pave the unpaved sides of roads. They should also ensure that the median of the roads is cleaned during daily sweeping and that dust is removed immediately.
Both entities were also given tasks to ensure timely collection and pick up of solid waste, and to direct the sweeping staff to not set fire to the solid waste.
Traffic police have been assigned the task of making sure that material is not transported without adequate coverage with tarpaulin.
District administration were also directed by the court to impose Sections 144 on opening brick kilns for solid waste burning, rubber and Rexine burning. A new NOC will not be issued to brick kilns using conventional type bricks. All bricks kilns should be converted to the zigzag type.
The EPA has also made recommendations to improve the air quality in the provincial capital and to reduce the amount of particulate matter. Main polluters were identified as open-air barbeques held at roadside restaurants.
According to the report, barbecues are responsible for two types of pollutant.
It stated that microscopic specks made of grease from meat sizzling in the oven can escape into the atmosphere and contribute to dangerous particle pollution. Also, coal burning adds to carbon emission.
The study recommended a pilot project that would provide electric grills powered from renewable energy, as well as better barbecue stand designs. They would also be pushed back from the roadside. To entertain their customers, hundreds have set up open-air traditional barbecues at their restaurants.
Published in Dawn, February 5, 20, 222.