Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired a meeting at his office to review steps for dealing with smog and decided in-principle to the proposal of plying electric rickshaws and vehicles in the province along with the installation of biogas plants. A smog-monitoring cell has also been set up in PDMA. Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, Chief Secretary, SMBR, ACS (LG), secretaries of agriculture, transport, industries, environment, energy and housing departments, DIG (Traffic), DG PDMA and others attended the meeting. The CM was told that 43 per cent smog is resulting due to vehicular emissions and powers have been delegated to districts for taking steps to deal with an increase in air quality index. At least 204 FIRs have been lodged in two days due to smog-related activities besides challan of 11685 vehicles and 109 industries. The meeting decided to shut conventional brick-kiln from November 7 in the whole of the province while the brick-kiln operating on zigzag technology will continue to function. The CM apprised the participants that the DCs have been delegated the powers of the relief commissioner to overcome smog. Smog control centres have been set up in every district along with the nomination of focal persons in the offices of commissioners and DCs, he added. The CM directed to strictly ensure the ban on burning of tyres in factories adding that coordination between government and civil society is also important in this regard. Ban on the burning of crop stubble will be strictly implemented and steel rolling industries will also be transferred to environment-friendly technology, the CM said and directed the PCSIR to examine developing smog-towers for the provision of clean air. A delegation of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) led by its President Mian Tariq Misbah ur Rehman called on Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office and discussed matters about the traders and industrialists. The CM assured to early solve the problems adding that PTI government is business-friendly and his office is always open to the business community. The government is creating the culture of ease of doing business to promote trade and industry, he added. The LCCI’s one-window operation model will be extended to industrial estates and abolishing of the annual fee of Hajj and Umrah tour operators will be reviewed. The water tariff issue will also be solved and the committee under Commissioner Lahore will be reactivated to resolve the problems of the commercial markets. Traders will also be given representation in this committee, he added. The CM announced to construct new parking plazas in Lahore and asked the traders community to identify land for this purpose. I am saddened over losses of traders due to Hafeez Centre fire and steps will be taken for compensation of losses in the light of recommendations of a committee constituted for this purpose, the CM added. The consultation process will continue and problems of small traders will be solved on a priority basis, concluded the CM. LCCI’s senior vice president Muhammad Nasir Hameed, vice president Tahir Manzoor Ch., member Shahrukh Jamal and secretary industries were also present. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has appealed to the citizens to follow SOPs and wear facemasks to remain safe from the second wave of coronavirus. In a statement, the CM said the number of active cases has risen to 3688. 232 new cases have been detected; six others have died while 11056 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. A total of 97384 patients have been recovered and 1555123 have been tested, concluded the CM. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has extended felicitations to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an on the national day of the Republic of Turkey. In his message, the CM stated Pakistan and Turkey are intertwined in the historic relations of brotherhood and the hearts of the people beat in unanimity. The brotherly relations have been further strengthened in the tenure of PM Imran Khan, he added. Turkey has made tremendous development under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdo?an and it is sanguine that Turkey has always stood with Pakistan like a solid rock. It has also supported the stance of Pakistan at international fora, including the core issue of Kashmir. The bilateral relations between the two countries will continue to flourish forever, concluded the CM.