LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht has said the Environment Protection Department (EPD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lack the structure and resources necessary to fulfil their environment management mandates, including environmental clearance of investment proposals and inspection of industries for environmental compliance.
The Punjab government, with the aid of the World Bank, has initiated the Rs40 billion Punjab Green Development Programme (PGDP) to improve the capacity. To reduce industrial pollution, a strict monitoring regime would be set up to pressure said industries to comply with the environmental standards and invest in cleaner technologies, the minister said in a meeting with the World Bank officials.
The EPA Punjab currently has only six air quality monitoring stations and no water quality monitoring stations. The lack of data due to the small number of stations has hindered the EPA in giving a realistic evaluation of the environmental quality in Punjab.
The programme will see the procurement of 30 air quality monitoring stations and 15 water quality monitoring stations, and a state-of-the-art environmental monitoring centre would also be set up under the programme.
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