LAHORE: In order to address the worsening situation of pollution and smog in Lahore and its surroundings the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) has proposed that the changes in building bylaws need to be made on the urgent ground in a view to curb the growing menace to human living and health by promoting Rooftop Gardening And Plantation in the provincial metropolis. The ever-increasing quantity of smog has become a routine exercise in Lahore and its adjacent areas which also prompted the Lahore High Court to direct the civic agency to take immediate steps to mitigate the situation including the plantation of trees on muti-story buildings.
The Chief Engineer TEPA, Abdul Razzaque Chohan while talking to newsmen on the issue said that in the first phase the plantation of trees would be introduced on the top of newly constructed buildings. He revealed, “In the first phase, indigenous trees will be planted on the roofs of newly-constructed commercial buildings”. In the second phase, he told, the building bylaws would be amended to ensure the plantation on the roofs and balconies of the tall buildings. He said that they have taken all relevant agencies on board in this regard. He said that the DHA would also make amendments in its bylaws to make sure that rooftop plantation is carried out in the society.
The Chief Engineer also highlighted that introduction of rooftop gardening and plantation will not only help in reducing pollution and smog in the city but also contribute to the introduction of urban agriculture in the provincial capital. He said all the government agencies TEPA, LDA, and PHA would help in the promotion of rooftop plantations. He elaborated that the plantation on the top of the buildings will reduce harmful gases, absorbing and filtering the harmful particles of the polluted air. The rooftop gardening will also reduce the amount of dust in the air and the production of smog in the air, he continued.
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The CE further highlighted that the plantation would contribute to reducing noise pollution to a great extent by absorbing and reflecting sound waves but the strength and weight of the building he said would be the top priorities of the civic agencies before going for the construction work coupled with rooftop protection mats and rainfall management system. He said, “The weight of a rooftop garden can mess up the general structure of a building. A waterproofing system must be installed on top of the building with a complete drainage system or with the help of slightly slopping down the roof,”