The citizens of Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, are unable to breathe properly owing to the deteriorating air quality.
Air Quality Index
According to World Air Quality Index (AQI), Lahore was ranked the second most polluted city on Oct 29 with 188 AQI.
Karachi was the seventh most polluted with 153 AQI. India’s New Delhi ranked was first with 373 AQI.
According to Amnesty International, The AQI of Lahore reached an alarming level of 484 at 10am on 30th October.
The AQI 0-50 is ranked as good with above 100 ranked as unhealthy.
According to environmental lawyer Rafay Alam, the situation gets worse in winters as the warm air is prevented from rising above a certain level so it traps all the pollutants below.
The air pollution in Lahore can cause health issues including asthma, lung damage, bronchial infections, headaches, burning eyes.
Also, there have been road accidents linked to poor visibility in Lahore.
Where is this smog coming from?
Smoke from large number of vehicles, bricks kiln and steel mills, burning of garbage/crops and cutting down of flora is heavily contributing to smog covering the city of gardens.
According to data processed by Hammad Gilani, Assistant Professor at Institute of Space Technology, in 2019 to-date, Pakistan’s Punjab has witnessed 1,964 crop burning incidents.
Has the government declared emergency in Lahore?
It seems like the PTI ministers are making light of the situation.
Minister for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul tweeted that Lahore’s AQI of 262 was under predefined limits. How does she not know that above 200 AQI is enough to trigger a health alert?
Fawad Chaudhry tweeted that India is responsible as cross border field fires are contributing to air pollution in Lahore.
Punjab Home Department has imposed a ban on the burning of crop residue, solid municipal waste, plastic and leather items for a period of three months across the province under Section 144 (6) CrPC, 1898.
Also, under the anti-smog drive, a team of the Environment Protection Department (EPD) raided 45 factories while 20 units were sealed causing pollution in the city on 22 October.
Similarly, the team issued notices to 10 factory owners and lodged the FIR against four units.
But still no action to clean the already polluted air has been taken.
Pakistanis were enraged at the irresponsible response of the Federal Ministers
Precautions you need to take to protect yourself and your loved ones
A twitterati listed down the precautions that Lahoris should take.
What steps do you think that government should take to counter this serious issue? Let us know in the comments below?