CHANDIGARH: Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province and brother of former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has written a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh inviting him to join hands to tackle smog and pollution.
In a tweet, the Govt of Punjab (Pakistan), stated, “The intensity of smog issue that has wide implications for human health calls for concerted efforts to take on this challenge. @CMShehbaz has written a letter to the Chief Minister of Indian Punjab @Capt_amarinder for a cooperative & coordinated approach. @ArvindKejriwal.
The letter from Sharif, dated November 19, states, “You are aware since last year people of both Pakistani and Indian Punjabs have been facing the problem of smog during the months of October and November. This year the problem has become more aggravated and widespread.”
“It goes without saying that the smog has an adverse effect on public health, especially on the old and children; on agriculture in the form of delayed sowing of wheat and damage to potato and other crops, and causes accidents,’’ it stated.
The letter further states, “Main causes of smog range from vehicular and industrial emissions to rice stubble burning. The phenomenon has now assumed regional proportions and it now engulfs areas from New Delhi to Lahore and beyond. You will agree with me that the problem is essentially scientific and economic and cannot be tackled through other means.”
“I firmly believe that it is in the interest of people of both Punjabs to make a collective effort towards identifying technologies and business methods that may eliminate the need to burn rice stubble and help control smog formation,” the letter says.
It added, “With this in view, I would like to invite you for entering into a regional cooperation arrangement to tackle the issue of smog as well as environmental pollution. Let us join hands for securing a prosperous future for the people of our two provinces.”
Replying to the tweet, Raveen Thukral, Media Adviser to Capt. Amarinder Singh, tweeted, “Amarinder Singh is extremely concerned about the issue and is actively pursuing it with the Indian government. He expects early resolution of the matter. He is, however, yet to receive the letter from Shehbaz Sharif and will reply to it at a suitable time.”