The administration is taking strict action in accordance with the law against the violators of smog Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and lodged 46 FIRs besides imposing fines amounting to one million rupees during anti-smog operations conducted in Rawalpindi Division in December. Commissioner Rawalpindi Division, Saqib Manan told on Sunday that the authorities concerned on the directives of the Punjab government were taking action against the violators of smog SOPs. He informed that the officials concerned had been directed to ensure surveillance of the industrial units in their respective areas and also penalize the brick kilns not using modern technology. The industrial units causing pollution would be dealt with iron hands, he said adding, action would be taken against the industrial units for using bad quality fuel and burning old tyres for fuel. The Commissioner said efforts were also being made to take action against the stone crushers, brick kilns and vehicles for emitting smoke. It is pertinent to mention here that with the onset of the winter season in November, smog had started to increase, causing air pollution in different cities of Punjab including in Rawalpindi district. The Punjab government had formulated a 10-point policy to control pollution, which would remain in force until further notice. Fines against smog emissions had also been increased. The Punjab government had issued a notification banning the burning of all types of crops and garbage, smoke-emitting vehicles, factories, brick kilns and stone-crushing plants in all districts including in the Rawalpindi district. Transportation of uncovered building material, traffic obstructing parking and all types of dust-blowing activities have also been banned. The fine for crop burning has been increased to Rs 50,000, the fine for smoking brick kilns has been increased to Rs 100,000, the fine has been increased to Rs2,000 for smoke-emitting vehicles and motorcycles and the fine for smoke-emitting factories, bakeries and stone crushing machines has been increased to Rs 50,000. According to a spokesman of the Commissioner Office, the Rawalpindi administration had also issued a notification instructing the environmental protection department to take action against smog-emitting set-ups and vehicles. The smog control policy had been put in place by EPD and accordingly squads and teams had also been formed to check violations, he said. According to the district administration officials, an awareness campaign had also been launched across the district apprising the citizens of the negative effects of smog and the role they could play to mitigate it. The efforts were being made to make the awareness campaign effective so that the citizens themselves could also play a role in mitigating the effects of the smog. The EPD officials informed that there was zero-tolerance policy against smog-emitting brick kilns, industries and stone-crushing plants. The staff concerned was monitoring the quality of smoke with a special gadget on the GT Road and near the motorway in collaboration with traffic police. They said that the anti-smog squads were also monitoring the proper disposal of waste from hospitals and a complete ban was imposed on the burning of plastic waste of any kind throughout the district. The officials added that the Punjab government had established special labs across the province to protect the citizens from the dangers of smog. District Emergency Officer (DEO) Rawalpindi asked the drivers to adopt all out precautionary measures in fog. He advised the people to avoid unnecessary traveling in fog hours. Keep the fog lights of their vehicles on and commute with slow speed by keeping a reasonable distance between vehicles. He also appealed to avoid roadside parking of vehicles. Chief Traffic Officer, Rawalpindi Tamoor Khan urged the people to take precautionary measures and follow traffic rules during smog season. The drivers should also attach dense fog lights on to their vehicles, he maintained and advised the citizens to maintain vehicles at a greater distance from each other during smog season.