Subh-e-Nau Magazine

How can the new government make a truly green Naya Pakistan?

With political change in the air, the newly elected PTI has key plans for the future. Addressing rampant environmental degradation sustainably is one target and it should be a top priority if Pakistan is to survive now and develop in the longer term. Here are some of our recommendations to move steadily in this positive direction.       

As Pakistan celebrated its 72nd Independence Day, 328 newly elected MNAs sworn in to 15th National Assembly in August 2018 marking the second democratic transition of power from one elected government to another. Millions of voters have taken part in landmark elections held on July 25th this year.
The people of Pakistan have voted for change by electing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to power for next 5 years. This is partly because previous governments have consistently failed to deliver on their promises. And indeed, we are facing numerous challenges and environmental degradation is one of the most important but a neglected problem of Pakistan. 
Our nation is presently ranked at 169, a dismal position in the Yale Environmental Index among 180 countries dropping even further from its dubious 144 rank in 2016.  Why is this so?
Less than 40% Pakistanis have access to clean drinking water, more than 40 million people do not have access to a toilet and nearly 50 million citizens are at risk of arsenic poisoning in Pakistan. We had 3.28% forest cover in 1990, now there is less than 2% of forest area left. It is the highest annual rate of deforestation in Asia and if we do not stop it, we will run out of trees within next few decades. 22% of total annual deaths in Pakistan are caused by environmental pollution. Economic cost of environmental pollution and climate change are estimated to be more than 360 Billion Rupees per annum. 

Usher in the ‘Green Growth Agenda’

Fortunately, the ruling party has included environmental reforms in their official manifesto. PTI has promised to improve environment and public health. Here is a summary of their ‘Green Growth Agenda’:
  • To set up nationwide safe and clean drinking water purification plants through public-private partnership
  • Launching ‘Billion Trees Tsunami’ at national level aim to plant 10 billion trees in 5 years – before the election this target was set at 1 billion, which was met earlier
  • Inclusion of environmental science in our educational system
  • Sustainable clean energy and transport
  • Developing state-of-the-art solid waste management system
  • To implement an action plan for energy conservation
  • Establishing a Green Growth Task Force to facilitate necessary legislation and implement the Green Growth Agenda
  • Cleaning up air and water pollution and creating ‘green jobs’ to achieve abovementioned environmental goals in Pakistan 

We need to have a clear roadmap to improve environmental sustainability

The ‘Green Growth Agenda’ may sound wonderful but as they say, “All great ideas are worthless without strong execution”. Every successful project requires a clear and realistic roadmap with achievable milestones. Here is the suggested roadmap to make Naya Pakistan a clean and green country:
Safe Drinking Water for All: : Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right. Previous governments have claimed to spend millions on water and sanitation projects. However, even urban dwellers of Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore are struggling for clean drinking water. The situation is unimaginable in remote towns and villages where people are forced to drink contaminated water. The government should:
  • Set up and maintain at least one drinking water purification plant in a union council
  • Identify and control the sources of pollutants to improve surface and ground water quality
  • Construct wastewater treatment plant to protect rivers and streams
  • Slap fines on industries responsible for polluting water reservoirs
  • Encourage plantation to improve the water cycle
Upgrading Solid Waste Management System: Karachi, once known as ‘the city of lights’ has been ranked as 5th filthiest city in the world. The situation is no different in other major cities such as Lahore; even Islamabad, the federal capital lacks a proper landfill site. 600 tons of garbage of the green city is dumped at a temporary site which is hazardous for environment. It is time to improve garbage pickup system, build landfills, incinerators and waste-to-energy plants and invest in bioremediation techniques. Furthermore, the government should make strict protocols and treatment facilities for safe disposal of hazardous trash e.g. laboratory, hospital and electronic waste etc.
Waste Reduction: The first step towards an efficient waste management is to reduce (the amount of waste), followed by reuse and recycle.  Disposable plastic shopping bags have become the biggest source of nuisance in Pakistan. They are non-biodegradable, clog drain pipes and emit toxic gases when burned. The government should replace conventional plastic bags by biodegradable shopping bags and encourage public to carry a reusable bag to grocery stores. We also need to introduce waste segregation practice and establish proper recycling units. 
Clean Transport: Smog has become a serious health and safety hazard in Lahore and many other cities of Pakistan. Thousands of citizens were hospitalized, hundreds of road accidents have been caused by smog and several commercial flights had to be diverted due to zero visibility during last winters. Vehicular emissions are one of the main sources of smog. We need to tackle it in two ways:
Ban decades’ old vehicles: Old commercial diesel vehicles and 2-stroke petrol vehicles (motorcycles and rickshaws) should be barred from entering big cities like Lahore. There should be a mandatory annual emission test for all private and commercial vehicles. The government should either replace old commercial vehicles by modern clean diesels or at least find a way to upgrade their engines for better pollution control through public-private partnership.
Upgrading fuel quality: Pakistan is still producing Euro-II standard fuel which has been phased out in Europe 18 years ago. Even India and Iran are now producing Euro-IV compliant ultra-low sulfur diesel and petrol. Both of our neighbor countries will upgrade their fuel quality to Euro-VI by 2020. It is time to upgrade fuel because high sulfur diesel and poor grade petrol is not suitable for high tech eco-friendly engines.
Sustainable Urban Mass Transit & Cycling Lanes: Although previous government has developed some ‘world class’ mass transit projects in few cities but we still have a long way to go. Karachi is yet to get its first mass transit line operational which will only facilitate less than 5% of total commuters of this megacity. Thousands of commuters in Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi have to travel in inhumanely packed minibuses and vans because there is no decent city bus service plying in these cities other than few metro lines on selected routes. Islamabad is one of the very few capitals in the world without an urban transit system. The new government should adapt the mass transit schemes to commuters’ needs; this is plying regular city buses on multiple routes facilitates more passengers than investing billions in highly subsidized metro transit lines. We need safe and comfortable city buses plying on different (sub)urban routes of all metropolises to boost public transport ridership. Similarly, carpooling and cycling should also be encouraged by creating dedicated bicycle only lanes, introducing bike and ride-sharing systems to reduce traffic congestion. 
Tackling Deforestation: Pakistan is losing forest cover at an alarmingly high rate. The government should curb timber and land mafias to control deforestation and launch massive ingenious plantation drives at national level. The citizens must participate in tree plantation and the state should fund those nonprofit organizations actively engaged in environmentalism. Transplantation machines should be used to save old trees while constructing infrastructure projects and compensatory plantation should be done to minimize the environmental damage. We also need to increase the survival rate of plantation to make Billion Tree Tsunami a successful project, and indeed it is imperative that the planted species be indigenous and local experts be consulted before mass plantations are done. The government may cut custom duty and taxes on imported wood and timber to reduce deforestation rate. 
Environmental Education in curriculum: Introduction to Environmental Sciences should be taught at all schools including religious Madrassas to increase awareness about environmental protection. We should motivate our kids to use waste bins, conserve water and energy, carry a reusable shopping bag and plant indigenous trees by engaging them in classroom demonstrations and outdoor activities.
Improving Environmental Legislation: Lax rules and poor enforcement are the main barriers to environmental sustainability. Environmental laws of Pakistan are outdated; fines are relatively small for serious offenses and there are no clear laws about electronic waste and recycling etc. The government needs to update environmental laws and enhance the enforcement. Harsher fines should be imposed on industries polluting the environment and sewage wastewater treatment plants should be made mandatory for all housing schemes. 
Incentives for energy efficient buildings: Where we penalize violators, it is a good idea to offer incentives to those socially responsible citizens and organizations who care for environment. Energy efficient residential and commercial buildings should be given tax relaxation and discounts in electricity bills. For example, a house with solar panels, solar water heater and rainwater harvesting system may be given relief in energy bills. Similarly, an energy efficient and emission standard compliant industry should be given tax relaxation for keeping the environment clean. 
Clean Energy Production: Coal fired power plants are the main source of air pollution and nuclear power is a potential risk. The new government should invest in renewable green energy including micro-hydro, solar panels, wind turbines and waste-to-energy power plants. Upgrading power transmission lines is also a need of the hour as we are wasting a lot of energy and power cuts are forcing people to use portable generators which is exacerbating the air pollution. 
Establishing a Centralized Environmental Monitoring System: And last but not least, they should set up a centralized environmental monitoring system where researchers and general public can get the data of air quality, drinking water quality of different cities and change in forest cover in Pakistan etc. There should also make a mechanism where we can see the progress made on environmental issues over time.
All in all, with environmental protection as a key plan on PTI’s agenda, and if implemented now, Pakistan would move rapidly up as an exemplary, progressive and responsible country in the future.

This is how they are combating environmental pollution in different parts of the world

  • Costa Rica, a developing Central American nation had only 24% forest cover in 1985. In 2010, they won Future Policy Award for pioneering legal protection of natural wealth as their forest cover had risen to surprisingly high 46%. Not only this, Costa Rica has also been recognized for the generating renewable energy in the region. 
  • Los Angeles (California, USA) was declared as one of the most polluted cities of America until mid-1990s. Smog attacks were so severe the LA commuters had to wear gas masks to breathe. But situation began to improve after Environmental Protection Agencies intervened. They set vehicular emission standards, upgraded fuel quality and penalized industries for polluting the environment. In 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that LA had become a better place to live. There has been a remarkable reduction of particulate matter and Nitrogen Dioxide by 47% and 33% respectively since 1998. Children born in Los Angles after 2007 are healthier than those who were born during 1960s to 1990s.
  • Singapore, the Asian business center is planning to build safe Bicycle Only lanes on all urban roads to reduce traffic congestion and boost cycling culture in the country. It is pertinent to mention that the country has one of the best urban mass transit systems in the Asia.
  • New Delhi (India) has been ranked 5th in the world’s most polluted cities list. The government has already started to phase out more than 10 years old diesel buses from urban transit fleet. Most of their cabs are running on CNG and kerosene stoves have been replaced by cleaner LPG. India is using Euro-IV diesel and petrol but they have introduced Euro-VI compliant fuel earlier this year which is currently available only in New Delhi. This is the cleanest quality fuel in the world and India is planning to switch to Euro-VI by end of 2020 to combat alarming levels of air pollution.
Writers: Sultan Kiani & Prof. Farrukh Chishtie

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Greening Pakistan with Plantation and Conservation

Prior to the elections, Subh-e-Nau recently interviewed Mr. Malik Amin Aslam who PTI’s plans to make Pakistan a green and environmentally friendly country.

Before PTI’s successful showing in the election, Subh-e-Nau interviewed Mr. Malik Amin Aslam in February 2018. In the interview he explained in detail PTI’s party agenda to make Pakistan a green nation including the successful implementation of the Billion Tree Tsunami project, which is now scaled up to 10 billion trees. He is presently the Central Vice President and the Advisor (Environment) to the Chairman of PTI.

SN: How did the idea of Green Growth initiative as a politically backed project initiated?

MAA: I think it is a unique project precisely because it is politically backed. Before this, policies and strategies have been formed in Pakistan and if there had been any changes in the Government, if they wanted, they would take ownership or otherwise the policies/strategies would remain shelved. I too have formulated many similar policies. We did this as an experiment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that we raised this issue of environment through a political platform. This has happened for the first time in Pakistan. It began prior to 2013, when the country-wide elections were announced for Pakistan, PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf) was the first party which developed a Green Agenda. I was tasked to develop that Green Agenda. We outlined multiple sectors in the Agenda, and we drafted strategic interventions in each sector. That agenda was developed for entire Pakistan and was announced before 2013. We made environment’s conservation part of the Party’s Constitution and Manifesto. So the Green Agenda was integrated into the party system. The party’s core committee and leadership agreed that it is a good initiative and if we form government, we will implement this. Once the elections were over and we formed provincial Government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was a test for the party – we had promised a Green Agenda, whether PTI will deliver it or would it remain unfulfilled just like other parties. I think the party gave a very positive response. They asked me to tailor the agenda for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So the second step was to scale the country-wide agenda specifically for the province. Using it as the base document, I started working on it. In order to bring the process of change, you need to develop an institutional mechanism. So we notified an institutional mechanism which was the first decision announced by the PIT’s Government before making any other decision. They took two steps: first, they formed a Green Growth Task Force, a committee consisting of environment experts from IUCN, WWF, Aga Khan Development Network, etc. I was chairing that committee. This committee was linked with Cabinet Committee, which was called Green Growth Cabinet Committee, which was chaired by the Chief Minister himself. I used to sit as a member of that committee while heading the expert’s Task Force. So that link served the purpose of bringing the advice of the experts to present to the Cabinet. After that notification, which included a sixty day deadline set for the experts tasked with tailoring the country-wide agenda to the province. The experts were required to come up with specific targets. So we completed that task within 60 days, presented to Cabinet and got it approved. Then Imran Khan announced those targets. In addition to the main target of forestry, the targets also included increasing clean energy production. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is covered 20% in forests and the province was experiencing deforestation since Pakistan came into being. We planned not only to stop this deforestation trend but also to increase area under forest by 2%, making the total forest covered area to 22%. In forestry terms, if the area dedicated to forest is 80% empty and only 20% covered in trees, it would still be called a forest. The same problem was faced in the province that even the empty area was counted as forest. We also planned to enrich the forest area, bringing it at least up to 30% from 20%. These were the main two targets of forestry approved by the Cabinet. The next step was to translate these targets into action. The Government institutions were asked to translate these targets into action; when you have to translate policy into implementation, you have to develop a project. To develop the project, we again utilized the experts’ Task Force. We asked if we have to increase forest-covered land from 20% to 22%, how many trees will have to be planted and how much area will be required? From this discussion, the experts said we will have to increase land by millions hectares and plant 60-70 crore trees. Since we have to politically sell this project too, we got the idea to increase the number to one billion trees. At that time, this looked like an impossible target to achieve. After detailed working, a PC-1 document was prepared with funding requirement of PKR 22 billion, spanning three years and was approved by the Cabinet. The process till this point was completed by end of 2014. Then the project’s implementation on-ground was started. One key factor of its success was its detailed planning.

SN: Other examples where similar projects succeeded?

MAA: It is a unique example among developing countries because of its political backing. Usually, politics is an impediment in such projects. Whenever ‘green growth’ initiatives are discussed, political forces use their influence to direct resources to other areas. We, on the other hand, made the politics a driver of Green Growth Agenda. This in turn resulted in dividends which benefited us politically. The biggest benefit perhaps was creation of jobs, which is a main slogan in politics. As you know, we have a big chunk of unemployed youth. Initially, we did not anticipate about number of jobs. But once we started the work, opportunities unfolded. There were only 2 crore saplings available in the province, which is a too small number to achieve the targeted number of tree plantation. We had to increase those 2 crore saplings to at least 25 crore. To make this jump, the government did not have the capacity. We developed a business model to do this. We involved youth and nursery owners, gave them incentives. We estimated that one sapling costs PKR 9 to the government. If we guarantee the private sector that we will make arrangements of buyback with private sector – a plant of a certain height and health guaranteed to be bought at PKR 9 after one year. Initially, the people had doubts, whether the government will buy them or not. Once they realized the commitment of the government, the private sector covered the production. Now, nurseries in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have the capacity to produce 30 crore plants annually. This expansion from 2 to 25 crore gave rise to huge opportunities. In addition to benefiting the big nurseries, a program for youth nurseries was also initiated after detailed economic study. In this program, in a space of one room, the youth were trained to grow 25,000 plants.  After deducting land and labour cost (although it is not labour intensive work and can be self-managed), and one plant is bought back at price of PKR 9, this can result in a profit of PKR 10,000-18,000 which is a reasonable income in rural set up. Many women, especially in rural areas, and unemployed youth participated in it. All of this process generated 500,000 jobs. So job creation was one major political dividend. Secondly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took a major edge in entire Pakistan, having done something unique among all provinces. Social media played a key role in this. Each political party attempts to create and follow mainstream trends, seeing what people like and follow. Similarly for this project, a spike in interest was observed whenever a major discussion or event related to this initiative was organized. So, if a tree was being planted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, people in Karachi and Lahore showed interest in it, which was benefiting the party. The strength of these two factors – jobs and social media – further increased political ownership of the project, resulting in smooth funding stream. Once when the government was facing shortage of funds, profit from hydel projects (which is done for very high priority areas) was redirected to this project (and later reimbursed). The commitment was so strong that the government made no compromises on it because the project was delivering in such strong terms for the party.
This project was then enlisted internationally to disseminate the good performance of this initiative. We applied for Bonn Challenge, which is basically a voluntary forestation targets countries commit to. Initially, they said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a province and our policy is to consider only countries but later on, they made an exception for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After two years, we were the only ones who achieved the target. It sent a very good message about Pakistan that we achieved something good that is internationally acceptable whereas usually there is only negative projection about our country.

SN: How do you see this in future? What if PTI gets a chance to form government at national level or otherwise, if it loses ground in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?

MAA: By embedding the environmental issues in the system of the party, we have ensured its sustainability. A political party is a sustainable entity. It does not go out of equation in any case. If it forms government, it can implement it. If it is in opposition, they can force the government to take up this agenda. We are the first party to bring this to platform and the first one to implement this and have shown results. We have announced a Green Charter which tells what PTI will do in future and focuses on Clean Air, Clean Water and Green Pakistan. We have celebrated the success of this initiative in a convention. In the same event, we announced the Charter and our party members have taken oath and committed to achieve this. Since our credibility has been established due to success of Billion Tree Tsunami, we are confident that we will be able to do this.
I think the positive angle is that other parties were forced to follow suit because of the political dividend reaped due to its success. PMLN made fun of this project saying it is an impractical challenge to achieve, sounding doubts about the number of trees and land availability. They are now realizing that this is succeeding and it is getting other benefits too. Now, they not only have accepted this but also have launched a program of 10 crore trees with the name of Green Pakistan. This was launched about a year ago and other provinces are also involved in this. According to their own minister, the performance of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is three times better than the other three provinces. This is because of established mechanism and momentum. But it is good that they have included forestation in their agenda.
Similarly in Sindh, the Secretary for Environment has recently made a statement that trees have been ruthlessly cut off in their province. Because of Billion Tree Tsunami, the waderas (tribal leaders) in Sindh have asked us to do something similar in their areas.
So this is a very positive development that Peoples Party and N-League have also owned it. They realize that they cannot live without it. It is now demanded by people. The people in Lahore have to face the problem of smog because of environmental degradation resulting from cutting off trees. About 70% of trees have been cut in the city of Lahore during the last ten years. I was taking reading for smog in Peshawar at about the same time the problem of smog was intense in Lahore. Acceptable level of smog is about 50-60 microgram. The reading was near to 1,000 in Lahore. On the same day, the reading in Peshawar was within the acceptable range of 50-60. The main reason for this is the development of defence against smog in the form of trees – about 20,000 acre land is covered with trees around the city. These trees absorb and stop smog coming from other cities.
The condition in Lahore cannot go on. It was difficult to breathe in open air in Lahore for about a month. When air quality is so poor, people cannot be attracted with Orange train.
Public has also forced to adopt green agenda and at the same time, governments have also realized that they have been left behind. Therefore, the forestation initiatives are not only sustainable within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but have also been expanded to other provinces.

SN:  What has PTI done to keep the numbers transparent?

MAA: We realized from the first day that people will be sceptical about numbers so transparency has remained essential. We gave the responsibility of monitoring to WWF, which is the most credible organization in environment. The organization was employed as independent auditor to monitor its performance. Usually, audit is done for financial monitoring and no attention is paid to the quality of the project. If a certain amount is dedicated to building a road, no one monitors whether the quality of the road corresponds to the amount spent. The quality audit is usually performed by the Government itself, which is a very weak and unacceptable. That is why we outsourced this task to an independent and credible entity. This is also an unprecedented event that a government project was being monitored by an independent organization. Because our intentions were good, we utilized WWF and gave them the opportunity to point out where we do wrong so it can be improved. In some instances in the past, they advised us to change some activities, which we did after consulting the experts’ committee. So far they have issued three audit reports and have endorsed this project in all three of them. It is interesting that they reported that we have planted even more trees than we claimed. They also appreciated the survival rate of the trees. When I used to be minister and plant trees, I observed that only 20-25% trees survived and tree plantation was done considering this survival rate. In this project, the survival rate of the trees is 85%, according to WWF’s reports.
We have developed a website for this project (see: http://103.240.220.71/btt/). On one of the webpages, each site has been mapped through Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS). You can see by using the provided coordinates in Google Maps whether trees have been planted on these sites. Detailed information on the number and types of trees, when they had been planted is provided on the website.
During the convention, the Chief Minister announced that if anyone has doubts and wants to visit the sites, we will provide them with security and transport to visit.
Therefore, this is an open and transparent project. This has been internationally recognized only because of its credibility. IUCN, Bonn Challenge, WWF, World Economic Forum have recognized it. I think this is a very high level of recognition.

SN: Some environmentalists have raised concerns about plants not being indigenous and a potential public health crisis in the making. What is your take on this?

MAA: Yes this had happened when conocarpus was planted in some areas of Peshawar. This was timely identified. A meeting of experts was called and corrective action was taken. Now, 60% of tree plantation is being done through natural regeneration, which is about allowing the nature to plant trees by itself rather than planting saplings by hand. We developed a community based model. The local community is responsible for destroying trees in the forested areas – through using the forests as pastures and by setting fire. We organized communities and allotted them 5,000 kanal blocks and made the communities assign guards (whereas these guards used to be appointed by government) who were paid by us. These community-assigned guards are called Forest Nigehbans. The communities were allowed to gather wood for fire. For animal food, an alternate mechanism for fodder was developed. This resulted in communities taking ownership of the forests. Before that, it was on record that prior to 2013, 75% of forest land could not accommodate more trees because of pressures from timber mafia and communities. When these pressures were controlled and community gained ownership, now 2,500 saplings per hectare are growing naturally each year. (In the first year, the natural regeneration was 1,200 which has now grown to 2,500 per hectare.) This has been documented by WWF who have come up with these numbers after massive sampling. In these forest areas, which constitute 60% of the project, no plants other than indigenous were planted. In the rest of 40%, we did plantations ourselves, involved private sector, and plantation mainly focused on indigenous trees. In some areas, however, people planted fast-growing varieties, some of which may not be indigenous but are adaptable to local environment. For example, in water logged areas, eucalyptus is very successful because of its treatment of the problem. Also, eucalyptus gives good economic returns through increased monetary value for its wood. So the initial conocarpus plantation was hardly 0.001% of the total project. Someone had planted it on the road side in Peshawar and these were uprooted shortly after the complaints.
Now we are involving another organization in conducting a study of the projects impact on biodiversity. The project has incurred economic and social benefits, whether it has resulted in any benefits to biodiversity or not. This study is currently in progress.
Interviewers: Muhammad Imran & Prof. Farrukh Chishtie

Articles

Upgrade to LED TV without breaking the bank 

The LED TV is all the rage these days. Here’s an affordable way you can upgrade your old CRT TV to this latest technology.      

In 1897, a Scottish engineer John Logie Baird invented the Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) which actually made television possible. CRT televisions ruled the world until 2000. The 21st century marked the quiet death of these CRT TVs as LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens began to attract consumers. An LCD/LED TV consumes less energy and its sleek design makes it look cool in your room but it is also more expensive. The market share of CRT TVs fell markedly as LCDs became more affordable in late 2000s. As of 2018, all famous brands have stopped manufacturing CRT TV screens. Now you can buy a brand new medium size (19’’ – 24’’) LED TV in 16,000 Rupees. Still cannot afford it? Here is a workaround to replace your old bulky CRT by an HD LED TV in less than 10,000 Rupees budget.
Tools & gadgets required:
  • LED/LCD Monitor (15” – 24”, Used):  3500 – 6500 Rupees
  • TV device (New): 1800 – 2500 Rupees
  • A pair of Speakers or a Sound Bar (new/used): 350 – 900 Rupees
  • Wall Mount Bracket with Bolt Kit (Optional): 300 – 500 Rupees
  • Power Extension Cord: 100 – 150 Rupees
  • A Drill Machine (Optional)
Total Cost = 6000 – 10,000 Rupees
Tips:
  1. Used LED monitors are available at computer markets in all cities. They also offer 7 days warranty on used gadgets
  2. Always run ‘Dead Pixel Test’ before buying a used LED screen, you can download an application for Windows PC from internet. Do not buy it if you see a dead pixel on the screen.
  3. Carefully read instruction manual of TV device for correct installation
How to install it?
An LCD/LED screen takes less space than a CRT television set. You can either mount it to the wall to free up some space or simply keep it on a table top. For wall mounting:
  1. Determine the placement of your TV on the wall; it should be mounted at your eye level. A TV screen is best viewed when it is mounted between 3 to 4 feet height from the floor level.
  2. Mark the mount position, drill holes into the wall and fix the mount kit to the wall by tightening the screws.
  3. Attach the mounting rails to the back of your LCD screen.
  4. Hang the screen on the wall mount. Do not forget to install safety screws that keep it from falling off.
  5. Connect the VGA, power supply and audio cables of LCD screen to TV device, speakers and power sockets. You may need an extension cord to power 4 devices; an LCD/LED screen, a TV device, the speakers and a set top box if you use digital TV cable or a satellite dish antenna.
You are all set, just tune the TV stations and enjoy! A used LED screen will last between 3 to 5 years, depending on the usage and you may need to buy another TV device in next 3 years. Unlike a CRT TV box, it rarely breaks down and works great for years. I bought this 15’’ LCD screen (in the first picture) only for 3200 Rupees, the whole setup cost me around 6000 Rupees. I am completely satisfied with picture quality and reliability of this TV setup. I chose a smaller screen because I wanted to install it in a fairly small room. Another interesting advantage of this DIY TV setup is you can also use the same screen with your desktop or laptop computer when you are not watching the TV. And if one part (speakers or TV device) malfunctions, there is no need to replace the whole unit, just replace/repair the part and make it work again!
Few reasons to get rid of your old CRT TV
  1. It consumes more electricity; 90 Watts (CRT) vs. 35 Watts (LCD) which is bad for the environment.
  2. CRT TV generates more heat than LED which overheats your room and adversely affects air conditioner’s cooling efficiency.
  3. A Cathode Ray Tube screen emits low energy electromagnetic radiation which is hazardous for your eyes.
  4. It is larger in size and heavier than LED, takes up more space and difficult to carry.
  5. A glass screen causes more glare than an LCD and it is also more fragile.
Writer: Sultan Kiani
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