$273 million eco-friendly project planned to make Punjab green and pollution-free

Punjab green

The Punjab government launched a new initiative in order to strengthen environmental governance and encourage green investment in the province. 

According to the sources, the initiative under the name “Punjab Green Development Programme” will be launched with the support of the World Bank, which vowed to contribute a major chunk of the $273 million project. The World Bank will provide $200 million and the Punjab government $73 million. 

The aim of the project is to make Punjab green and pollution-free. It also intends to supervise air and water quality in all 36 districts of Punjab. 

In this regard, a special technical team comprising seven officers has also been formed for the successful execution of this project, sources said, adding that monitoring air quality and water quality in different regions of Punjab would be preferred first. This would be made possible using advanced eco-friendly technology. 

Read more: World Bank to provide $200 million to transform Punjab’s agriculture sector

Sources further said that an eco-friendly industry policy will be devised to ensure the use of modern technology across industries and legislation will also be carried out in this regard. 

Moreover, the environmental protection, finance, industries, transport, and energy sectors have been given the responsibility to implement the mega project. Besides, representatives of the World Bank will continuously administer the Punjab Green Development Programme to ensure its timely completion. 

The industries sector will be tasked to control the smoke coming from the brick kilns, stone crushing plants, factories, and vehicles. 

For this purpose, smoke-emitting automobiles will be regularly monitored and a ban will be imposed on the use of old vehicles whereas worn-out public transportation will be prohibited, the sources added. 

Furthermore, the use of eco-friendly transport will be ensured with the help of the transport department. Using battery-powered vehicles will be promoted. The department will be given facilities with strong and modern technology to guarantee efficiency and effectiveness. 

The project strictly bans the use of plastic shopping bags and the necessary rules would be implemented in this regard since their use is extremely dangerous. 

The sources reported that green financing will be guaranteed to encourage an environmental-friendly industry. Likewise, the investment would also be made in the energy sector. 

For this purpose, World Bank representative Chris Warner had a detailed meeting with Ministry of Environment Secretary Abdul Rauf and both deliberated upon project-related matters. 

The project will be completed in one year, the secretary remarked. 

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