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Senate Committee Wants to Convert Public Transport into Electric Vehicles

The Ministry of Climate Change has taken heed of Pakistan’s rising environmental pollution and the Senate Standing Committee met on 9 December under the chairpersonship of Senator Seeme Ezdi to discuss issues related to smog, the air quality monitoring system, and the measures taken by the ministry to prevent them.

The Climate Change Committee was appraised about the overall environmental condition of the country. The Director-General (DG) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Secretary of Climate Change Ministry stated that the major contributors to air pollution are industries, brick kilns, and vehicle emissions, and that various measures have been taken to end air pollution.

The committee was also told that vehicular emissions contribute 43 percent of air pollution in the capital as about four lakh vehicles traverse the Islamabad Expressway daily. This entails the commitment to convert 30 percent of transport to environment-friendly electric vehicles (EVs).

The committee also stressed the need to create an enabling environment by encouraging motorists to switch to EVs, and suggested that all the public transport of educational institutions be replaced with EVs.

Senator Faisal Javed highlighted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s efforts to eradicate Pakistan’s environmental issues and said that Pakistan is the only country to spend 44 percent of funds on building environment-friendly projects as per a World Bank report.

Senator Keshoo Bai spoke about the smog issue in different parts of Pakistan, and especially Lahore’s situation that has worsened. Dr. Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand remarked that environmental problems are problems of national importance, and the federal government and the provinces need to cooperate to resolve them.

Chairperson Ezdi noted that efforts are being made on this front and reiterated that all the concerned institutions must play an active role in this crucial time.

The committee meeting was attended by Senators Taj Haider, Faisal Javed, Muhammad Hamayun Mohmand, Keshoo Bai, Khalida Ateeb, and Abida Muhammad Azeem; the Secretary of Climate Change, Sikander Qayyum; DG (EPA) Farzana Altaf Shah; and other senior officers of the EPA.