Rizwan believes companies should not release data without permission
Punjab Minister for Environment Protection Bao Muhammad Rizwan has asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to act against international organizations and companies for releasing data on smog in Pakistan.
The minister claims that the data released by the international organizations and companies was ‘misleading and fake.’
In a letter sent to FIA, Rizwan said international bodies were not entitled to release smog data about Pakistan over the internet unless the country permits them to do so. The FIA should act against these bodies under the cybercrime laws, the minister said.
Rizwan also claimed that the international data did not match with the data gathered by the Punjab Environment Protection Department, which he heads.
The minister claimed last week that the Punjab province had not experienced smog “for a single second” during the past two years.
He said people working on environment did not know how to use air quality monitors.
“We are planning to educate them on it,” he said speaking on City42 TV on Friday.
The minister said Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded 134 at the Environmnet Protection Department and 186 in the Model Town Lahore on November 12.
International air quality monitoring companies such as IQAir recorded Lahore AQI at 500 and above for the last week.
Besides IQAir, the US diplomatic missions in Pakistan regularly monitor air quality in selected cities and release data on the US embassy website.
The statement from Rizwan came as the Punjab government mulls over closing schools in smog hit cities.