Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called for all-out efforts and measures, including the forestation to ensure a pollution-free clean and green environment to safeguard the country’s current and future generations from various diseases and climatic effects.
“This is the time for government and nation to get mobilized to safeguard our children and future generations….There is a need of forestation,” he said while speaking as chief guest at the Encouragement Award Ceremony of Clean Green Index organized by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
The prime minister had launched the Clean Green Pakistan Movement (CGPI) on November 25, 2019.
The major focus of the initiative was to inculcate a spirit of competition on cleanliness initiatives in the cities and facilitate the behavioural change, building positive attitudes, institutional strengthening for better water, sanitation and hygiene services, and facilities.
The prime minister said Pakistan, which was bestowed by Allah Almighty with abundant natural resource and beauty, was not take care of in the past and was destroyed through a lot of deforestation.
“Peshawar was known as a city of gardens and Lahore used to be a clean and green city…But now we have reached to this point. Lahore has witnessed 70% deforestation during the last 20 years,” he remarked.
Imran Khan referred to the high levels of pollution in major cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi, Peshawar and Gujranwala particularly during the winter season, and expressed his fear that it could cause the spike of COVID-19 during the second wave of the pandemic.
He, however, pointed out that the international institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO) appreciated Pakistan for its effective handling of the COVID-19 and put it among the world’s four countries, which, besides protecting the people from the virus, also saved themselves from economic impacts.
The prime minister said besides focusing on forestation through 10 billion tree programme, the government was also working on cleanliness of the cities through effective solid waste management.
He said since the solid waste was used for power generation in various countries, the present government was also working with various foreign companies for the purpose.
Imran Kahn said there was a need to change the mindset of people to bring in changes at the ground level, and create awareness among them about the importance of clean and green environment.
Appreciating the efforts of deputy commissioners of the cities that won the encouragement awards under clean and green index, he said there should be more incentives for the officers working to ensure cleanliness in the cities.
The prime minister, however, added that since there was a culture of equal treatment of people in bureaucracy in terms of salaries and perks, there was a need to introduce a system of reward and punishment to encourage the hard-working officers.
If the deputy commissioners ensuring cleanliness in their respective districts were awarded with incentives, including the financial awards, then those not performing well should be punished, he added.
The prime minister lauded the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change for the clean green initiative, saying besides 120,000 champions registered in the clean and green initiative, over one million youth from the Tiger Force would also help ensure cleanliness in the country.
Advisor to the PM on Environment and Climate Change Malik Ameen Aslam and Minister of State Zartaj Gul also spoke on the occasion and highlighted various programmes and initiatives of the ministry to ensure a clean and green Pakistan.
Following is the detail of “Clean Green Index Awards of Cities and Champions”:-
Attock (1st) – Overall and (Lead on Plantation)
Bahawalpur (2nd) – Overall and (Lead on Solid Waste)
Lahore (3rd) – Overall and (Lead on Water and Hygiene)
Gujrat (4th) – Overall 4th
Bannu (1st) – Overall
Kohat (2nd) – Overall
Abbottabad (3rd) – Overall
Innovation Award for Cities:
Peshawar – Performance for access to safe drinking water
Sahiwal – Community participation
Gujranwala – Beautification and parks
Best Performing Clean Green Champions:
1- Dr. Akram Shahzad Punjab (1st) – Khanewal
2- Ashfaq Nazar Punjab (2nd) – Sialkot
3- Ms. Bilquis Rehana Punjab (3rd) – Faisalabad
4- Ms. Haseena Hussain Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (1st) – Peshawar
5- Aqil Zaman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (2nd) – Swabi