Environment deptt, EPA lack structure, resources: Hashim.

LAHORE -- Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht said on Wednesday that Environment Protection Department (EPD) and its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lacked the structure and resources to effectively carry out several of their environmental management mandates including environmental clearance of investment proposals and inspection of industries for environmental compliance.

In a meeting with World Bank officials here, he mentioned that Punjab government with the support of World Bank (WB) had launched Punjab Green Development Programme (PGDP) worth Rs 40 billion to enhance its capacity.

A more active inspection regime would increase the pressure for polluting industries to comply with environmental standards and invest in cleaner technologies, he observed.

It was informed that currently the EPA Punjab had only six Air Quality Monitoring Stations and no Water Quality Monitoring Stations.

The EPA was unable to collect a sufficient amount of pollution data to give meaningful estimates on the evaluation of environmental quality in Punjab. Under the programme, he said, 30 Air Quality Monitoring Stations and 15 Water Quality Monitoring Stations would be purchased, besides establishing a state-of-the-art Environmental Monitoring Center (Reference Laboratory).

Hashim Jawan informed the WB officials that objective of the programme was to support provincial government's efforts to strengthen environmental governance and mainstream green growth in the province besides promoting green investments in Punjab.

Activities under the first results area aimed at restructuring and capacity building of Environment Protection Department and reforming of...

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