Punjab counters pollution, bans cars without M-tags on motorway

LHC announced to ban vehicles without M-tags on motorways. The ban comes as the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) raised concerns regarding air quality at toll plazas, which according to the Air Quality Index, is the highest. 

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In a bid to curb pollution, authorities in Punjab announced to ban vehicles without M-tags on motorways. This will come into effect from December 7, as reported.

According to details, the Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the National Highway Authority (NHA) to ban the entry of vehicles without the M-tag on the M-2 Motorway (Lahore-Islamabad).

Consequently, Justice Shahid Karim tasked the Deputy Attorney General to contact NHA and Motorway Police to impose the ban on an urgent basis.

Read more: Pakistan’s smart motorways strength for regional connectivity

Important to note, the judge termed the ban as an “emergency measure”. After the initial deadline, M-tags will become mandatory for all motorways.

The ban comes as the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) raised concerns regarding air quality at toll plazas. The PDMA told the court that the M2 Ravi Toll Plaza’s Air Quality Index is the highest.

To clarify, the processing of cars without M-tags creates traffic congestion at the Ravi toll plaza. This is a major contributor to pollution. However, with M-tags, the cars can easily pass through the toll plaza without stopping since the toll plazas can scan the vehicles from a distance.

Read more: New Hyderabad Toll Plaza on M-9 is the largest in the country

Air pollution in Punjab

Authorities are taking active measures to combat the air pollution in Punjab, especially Lahore. Earlier, Lahore became the world’s most polluted city in the world.

According to Platform IQAir, Lahore stood at the top of its polluted cities ranking – with an air quality index of 203 on the US AQI scale. Increasing smog and particle-laden air sickened thousands of people with respiratory and other illnesses. As a result, many people were forced to stay at home. Furthermore, Doctors advised people to wear face masks to avoid respiratory-related diseases.

Subsequently, the Punjab government announced to shut down private and government schools in Lahore thrice a week. Moreover, the provincial government directed private sector companies in Lahore to operate on a 50% attendance basis till further notice and said polluters would be fined.

Read more: Anti-smog squads target factories in Lahore



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