Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) Minister Muhammad Rizwan has written a letter to the director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), requesting him to take action against those spreading fake/unauthorised data of air quality on social media and internet, Geo News has reported. He requested FIA to take action against such people under cyber laws.

 The letter stated that that EPD is in charge of enforcing the Punjab Environmental Protection Act of 1997. “It is an Act to provide protection, conservation, rehabilitation and improvement of the environment, for the prevention and control of pollution and promotion of sustainable development,” read the letter.

The minister in the letter further wrote that, “unscrupulous elements with malafide intention” are reporting fake Air Quality Index (AQI) on different media platforms with an intent to harm the country’s image. “Fake/unauthorised data on air quality of Lahore or any city of Punjab is harming international reputation of the government and creating fear among the citizens, which can’t be tolerated,” said the provincial minister while speaking to The News.

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The minister also added that the government was considering closing schools for a certain period of time in Punjab, as a precautionary measure. In addition, options of smart lockdown in sensitive areas and a ban on all kinds of construction activities in the city are also being considered.

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Earlier, the minister claimed that there has been no smog in Punjab, including Lahore, for the last two years.