Commissioner Rawalpindi Division Saqib Mana has directed the authorities concerned to take strict action against the smog Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) violators to overcome the factors causing smog and accelerate the conversion of the brick kilns on modern technology. According to a Commissioner’s Office spokesperson, 3,559 smoke-emitting vehicles were issued challan slips and a fine amounting to over Rs 2.1 million were imposed on the violators during the last month in Rawalpindi district. Apart from this, an industrial unit for violating environmental laws was also sealed and a fine amounting to Rs 100,000 was imposed. During the anti-smog operations, 62 brick kilns were sealed in Rawalpindi district, 27 in Chakwal and 18 in Attock while FIRs were also lodged against 73 rules violators. Total fines amounting to Rs 6.4 million were imposed in the division, he added. The Commissioner directed the authorities concerned to accelerate the conversion of the brick kilns and 100 percent kilns should be converted to new technology as soon as possible. The Commissioner said that the industrial units, brick kilns, and transports violating the rules should be dealt with iron hands. The crackdown should be accelerated and action should also be taken against those causing smog by burning crop residue and smoke-emitting vehicles. The Commissioner further said that the brick kilns of old technology should be instructed to convert their kilns to the new technology as soon as possible and geo-tagging of all registered kilns should be completed soon in order to protect the people from air pollution and the diseases. He said, action should be taken against the rules violators without any discrimination that cause smog. The officials concerned had also been directed to ensure surveillance of the industrial units in their respective areas and also penalize the brick kilns not using modern technology. The Commissioner said efforts were also being made to take action against the stone crushers, brick kilns and vehicles for emitting smoke. 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. 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 at a 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 to their vehicles, he maintained and advised the citizens to maintain vehicles at a greater distance from each other during smog season.