Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI), stressing that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government was committed to making the country truly “clean and green.”
Addressing a ceremony in Islamabad to inaugurate the competition between 19 cities of the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, Khan said it was time for every segment of society to unite against the threat of environmental degradation to ensure a future for Pakistan. “It was thanks to support from the common man that we planted one billion trees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa over five years,” he said, “Now we will make the entire country green with particular focus on the cities where specific areas will be identified for plantation.”
The initial phase of the CGPI calls for 19 cities, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Okara and Bahawalpur, to compete on addressing issues of public interest. Major concerns include the provision of safe drinking water, solid waste management, liquid waste management, city beautification, cleanliness of streets, usability of parks, tree plantation, total sanitation, and community participation.
According to Khan, the government would gradually increase funds for the CGPI campaign, adding the provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa would introduce an efficient local bodies system to empower people at the grassroots level. “Elected representatives at the village level will be made part of the regional competitions on environmental indicators,” he added.
During his speech, the prime minister likened pollution to a silent killer, and specifically slammed a lack of effort to protect the environment of Punjab capital Lahore as the reason behind an ongoing smog problem that endangers the health of every resident of the city.
Separately, Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam told the CGPI ceremony that the government was committed to making Pakistan a clean and green country. He said as part of the initiative, students from schools and universities would be engaged and urged the general public to help make this drive a success.
Aslam said the youth of country should register and participate in this drive and the government would recognize and reward those who actively participate.