Lahore as bad as Delhi on the pollution front: Imran Khan
Islamabad, Nov 25: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) as part of his government's efforts to curb pollution but rued that pollution levels in the Pakistani city of Lahore was as bad as in the Indian capital, New Delhi.
In the initial phase of the CGPI, 19 cities, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Bahawalpur have been selected to compete on certain issues of public interest.
The 19 cities 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, Dawn News reported.
In his address, Khan 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 also 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.
"The air in Lahore is not breathable and the conditions of the city are hazardous for both the old and young." He said that air pollution in Lahore has reached to the worst possible extent, terming it "a silent murder", Geo News quoted him as saying. "We do not even know how many people have been affected by it," he said.
"We used to think that Delhi was the most polluted city" and rued that Lahore has also reached a similar level, he said. New Delhi was recently in the news globally due to the thick smog that enveloped the Indian capital for days, mostly due to stubble burning by farmers in surrounding states like Punjab and Haryana. He said that this was because "no one thought what we had to do."
The premier said that no government can make the country clean and green alone as he appealed to the youth to also become a part of the the campaign. "We do not value this Pakistan and when we do then Pakistan will look green,” he said.