No, India is not responsible for Punjab’s smog. Here’s what’s really happening

Poor fuel quality, not crop burning in India, is the villain in the battle for clean air.

Updated 20 Dec, 2019 07:57am
Lahore is ultimately left at the mercy of weather conditions to decide if the air will be unhealthy or hazardous — but never clean. — White Star
Lahore is ultimately left at the mercy of weather conditions to decide if the air will be unhealthy or hazardous — but never clean. — White Star

After significant rainfall at the end of January, Lahoris are breathing, quite literally, a sigh of relief having braved the worst of the smog season.

The smog season is now a routine affair in the provincial metropolis, when a thick layer of pollution envelopes the city from October to January. The episodes of smog in 2016, 2017 and 2018 have come and gone with little being done to fight it.

The general understanding appears to be that unless visibility is low, your eyes are inflamed, you can smell diesel fumes and everyone you know has a cough, you can conclude that the air is clean.

That is, of course not how air quality works, but it appears to be what the government believes, with claims from the Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul that smog is now under control. The minister has also claimed that smog is a weapon of “unconventional warfare” being employed by India.

Air quality is a relatively new dimension to Pakistan’s deteriorating environment, and the lack of understanding among the public and within the government departments has become a hindrance to any major policy interventions to be successfully implemented.

An example of this is the Pakistan Clean Air Action Plan (PCAP) launched in 2005, incidentally when the current Adviser to the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam was the incumbent Minister of State for Environment. The PCAP never came to fruition, with medium- and long-term objectives incomplete.

The Smog Commission’s recommendations, released in May 2018, appear to be headed for the same fate as Punjab’s Environment Protection Department (EPD) has failed to procure the required number of air-quality monitors (AQMS) even after two years.

Related: Lahore smog: It's not a natural phenomenon

Punjab requires a network of at least 240 AQMS to enable necessary data gathering; currently it has only five which provide readings routinely. In the absence of a monitoring network, a citizen-led effort, the Pakistan Air-Quality Initiative (PAQI), has been providing real-time air quality data using Swiss-made AirVisual monitors.

Instead of expanding its own network, the government tried to discredit this effort, but the manufacturer responded and rebutted the claims. The monitors set up by citizens are, in fact, among the best low-cost monitors available, according to evaluations by experts.

This tussle over data is significant. Real-time data in the hands of the public can potentially lay bare government ineptitude.

The government’s approach is both unreasonable and will lead to further deterioration of air quality. A picture posted by Aslam shows that the EPD Punjab can record real-time data, but it has never been made available for the public. The picture also shows that PM2.5 levels are nearly six times the legal limit set by the Punjab Environment Quality Standards (PEQS).

In this paucity of data, the PAQI data is second to none. The actual average monthly PM2.5 levels were recorded to be more than 20 times the legal limit in December 2018.

The University of Chicago’s Air-Quality Life Index calculates that citizens of Lahore would gain 5.1 years of life expectancy if the World Health Organisation air quality guidelines are met.

If Punjab is to be successful in its fight against smog and poor air quality, it will need an evidence-based policy approach, rather than perform a set of superficial tasks like issuing notices to a few individuals or blaming the toxic air on India.



As a starting point, the political leadership needs to show ownership of the issue, rather than engage social media rhetoric and spreading misinformation.

The crisis demands that environment experts are taken on-board for policy making, monitoring and evaluation, while career bureaucrats only be tasked with policy implementation.

Policies should never be made without evidence, and although the EPD Punjab has failed time and again to gather the necessary evidence, the data from the citizen-run network offers key insights, which can help with short- and medium-term policy formulation.

Read next: Unable to breathe

The government has so far treated air quality with the myopic view that it is a seasonal issue, starting in October and lasting until January. This is not the case and data gathered by PAQI illustrates that Lahore suffers from poor air quality throughout the year.

Citizens breathe unhealthy air throughout the year, which worsens to hazardous levels in December and January. The reason as to why air quality is hazardous particularly in these two months is the complex relationship of air quality with weather conditions.

Factors such as temperature, wind, relative humidity and rainfall affect the level of air quality in any environment. However, what needs to be accepted is that Lahore itself produces enough emissions to keep the city polluted throughout the year.

The only exception to this appear to be the monsoon months, when consistent spells of rain prevent pollutants from gathering in the air.



Average air quality index for Lahore and monthly temperature in 2018.
Average air quality index for Lahore and monthly temperature in 2018.


Environmental experts have repeatedly argued that crop burning is not the sole or even the biggest cause of poor air quality, but the EPD Punjab has been adamant in making a connection where none exists.

The most recent example is the use of NASA’s VIRS apparatus — which detects fires and thermal anomalies — by Federal Minister Aslam to suggest that Indian Punjab’s crop fires are responsible for Lahore’s poor air quality. A year-long analysis of detected fires and thermal anomalies reveals that this is not true.

Yearly patterns of regional fires and thermal anomalies between 2016 and 2018.
Yearly patterns of regional fires and thermal anomalies between 2016 and 2018.

Regional fires and thermal anomalies detected by NASA VIRS in 2018.
Regional fires and thermal anomalies detected by NASA VIRS in 2018.

Air quality index for Lahore and regional crop burning in 2018.
Air quality index for Lahore and regional crop burning in 2018.

While the majority of fires are indeed detected on the Indian side, it can also be observed that similar burning occurs in May every year, at the end of the Rabi crop season, but air quality does not suffer as has been suggested by government departments and ministers.

The same NASA sensor also shows significant detections within Pakistani Punjab.

Crop burning in May 15, 2018
Crop burning in May 15, 2018

Crop burning in Nov 15, 2018
Crop burning in Nov 15, 2018

The claim that crop burning in India causes smog in Lahore is not only without evidence, but it is statistically false with a very small correlation coefficient, illustrating the lack of scientific understanding required to deal with the crisis.

These claims are, however, not without consequence, and instead of creating the conducive circumstances necessary for a transboundary, collaborative effort between both Punjabs to tackle air pollution, it is creating further discord.

The presence of scientists and policy experts, rather than just politicians, can accelerate the path towards an environmental policy dialogue between the two sides, which will be of utmost importance in the coming years.

Crop burning and air quality correlation for Lahore in 2018.
Crop burning and air quality correlation for Lahore in 2018.


The case for an evidence-based approach in policy making is nothing new, but to make such policies, the required data sets and instruments need to be available.

As mentioned above, the EPD Punjab has made little effort to get approvals for purchase of equipment or even expand its human resources to make real-time data availability possible.

Despite drastic limitations, the recently published R-SMOG report, a collaboration between the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Punjab’s Agriculture department, is a great example of what can be achieved if departments work efficiently.

In the past, a similar evidence-gathering exercise was conducted with the help of the World Bank, which outlined in detail policy actions needed to curtail the worsening air quality in Pakistan.

Both of these studies, instead of concluding crop fires as the cause, point towards the transport sector as the biggest culprit behind air pollution.

While both studies had different methodologies and study areas, they rank agricultural sources as the third largest in proportion (In the World Bank study, ‘Other’ includes agriculture).



These findings present a dilemma undebated so far in the media and only rarely among policymakers.

Provincial EPAs and EPDs have very little control over emissions from the transport, power and industry sectors. The environment departments are tasked with vehicle and industrial emission checks, but emissions can only be controlled by preventing them, the powers for which lie solely with the petroleum division.

The World Bank study points that PM2.5 emissions in Lahore and other cities of Pakistan have a very strong correlation to carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, which means that both have the same source.

CO is primarily an outcome of incomplete combustion in fossil fuel engines. Evidence is mounting that poor fuel quality is the likely villain in the battle for clean air.

Fuel quality also impacts the power and industry sectors. Furnace oil used to produce power in thermal power plants can have sulphur content of up to three per cent. There are at least eight thermal power plants near Lahore which use furnace oil instead of the much cleaner natural gas.

The Sahiwal Coal Power Plant will likely add to power sector emissions in Punjab. The result is large hotspots of emissions which can be observed via satellite. However, the primary culprit in urban areas appears to be fossil fuel engines, especially diesel vehicles.

Pakistan adopted the Pak-2 fuel-quality standards (equivalent to Euro-2) in 1998, but uniform implementation of these standards around the country has never been evaluated.

Euro-2 diesel is known to contain 500 ppm (parts per million) of sulphur. Countries around the world are currently moving towards Euro-5 and Euro-6 standards. India, similarly, uses Bharat Standard-4, which is equivalent to Euro-4, containing 50 ppm sulphur.

Ironically, Pakistan may be forcefully pushed to adopt better standards soon, as it imports approximately 60pc of its diesel from Kuwait, which is planning to end production of diesel classed Euro-2 in 2020.

Explore: The case for environmental governance

Within Pakistan, the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), which is a part of the Federal Petroleum Division, is tasked with mandates such as “the formulation of national policies for the development of hydrocarbon industry according to the national needs,” “to carry out quality control and standardization of hydrocarbons,” and “to develop and promote use of clean, economic and alternative fuels.”

Very little, if any, such work has been done since the establishment of the HDIP in 2006.

In 2016, when the Honda motor company publicly alleged that petroleum marketing companies — including Pakistan State Oil — were selling adulterated petrol, petrol companies denied it, but HDIP later confirmed the allegations.

Since then, suggested measures to provide unadulterated petrol have faced resistance from refineries. Similar resistance is behind the outdated fuel standards, with refineries reluctant to invest in desulphurisation in order to save profits.

The impact of fuel quality also explains the year-round poor air quality in Lahore and other cities, as traffic and vehicular emissions remain constant throughout the year.

The city is ultimately left at the mercy of weather conditions to decide if the air will be unhealthy or hazardous — but never clean.

The sudden onset of smog in Lahore in 2014 may perhaps have happened as a consequence of the constant increase in the number of vehicles on the roads, with resulting emissions finally becoming too great and the natural balance being upended.

Therefore, any medium- to long-term policy for clean air in Lahore will fail without cleaner fuel standards formulated and implemented by the petroleum division.


Are you solving Pakistan's environmental and climate-related challenges? Share your insights with us at prism@dawn.com

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Dawar Hameed Butt is a policy analyst and communications consultant, interested in governance, public policy and sustainability. Follow him on Twitter @thelahorewala.


The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (83) Closed

Kazmi Wakeel
Feb 12, 2019 06:00pm
What a well researched article
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Dawnreader
Feb 12, 2019 06:02pm
A very detailed analysis, job well done.
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fairplay
Feb 12, 2019 06:21pm
@Kazmi Wakeel agree
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Raman
Feb 12, 2019 06:46pm
Great science. In a World where we blame other side the present research will give little or no comfort to anyone.
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Punjabi
Feb 12, 2019 07:36pm
Pakistan needs to change its mindset. Not every problem it faces is India's fault. India has bigger problems to solve, like how to get to be a $10 trillion economy by 2030. Blaming India might convenient for the politicians wanting to deflect their responsibility elsewhere, but the public should be able to see through it.
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Pak Heart
Feb 12, 2019 08:36pm
Excellent research ! Thank you Dawar. Those who matter and if they are at all interested in solving the disaster, they may (must) read this article and listen to people who have brains. Obviously they don’t have it
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Rehmatullah
Feb 12, 2019 08:51pm
Beautifully researched article! Before this I thought the smog in Pakistan was an Indian conspiracy, like the floods. (Just joking, in case you didn't get it...)
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My mind
Feb 12, 2019 08:53pm
How it is possible? Is he agent of India? That is the thought of most ignorant and one track minded people. Dawn is doing commendable job of giving space to reality. Hope people use their senses more often and see government lies or ignorance or escape from reality.
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Joseph
Feb 12, 2019 09:08pm
Great attempt at analysis and nice presentation, but your findings are wrong in my opinion. The smog in question is absolutely caused by crop fires set by Indian farmers to clear their fields. The reason why there is no smog in May while there is crop fires is because the temperature is higher and it rains more in May than in winter months. It is the combination of crop fires AND winter weather conditions that is the cause of smog.
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Jehengir khan
Feb 12, 2019 09:16pm
Mr. Butt: Just blame it on India....it worked in the past and it will work in future....your analysis will fall in deaf ears....excellent analysis though....
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brr
Feb 12, 2019 09:19pm
Makes for interesting reading. Good job.
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Prapur
Feb 12, 2019 09:25pm
Very scientific detailed article. Blaming India will not solve any Problem in Pakistan. Knowing cause and working on it will.
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Suhail
Feb 12, 2019 09:27pm
Well researched and well presented! Salute and respect for Dawar Hameed Butt!
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Raza
Feb 12, 2019 09:41pm
Euro 5 and Reducing the number Diesel vehicles is important. Diesel engines are used in Generators used extensively in load shedding which is causing pollution again. Load shedding causes air pollution.
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Abdullah
Feb 12, 2019 09:58pm
Finally, someone writes this! This was long overdue. Great work! Another thing: As a Lahori, its difficult to miss the connection between the start of Orange Line Metro Train Project and the start of smog in 2016. OLMT started in Oct of 2015, and after a year of shovelling a quarter of Lahore upside down, Oct 2016 saw unprecendented levels of smog until rainfall eased its intensity in November. Is there a correlation ? Perhaps, the experts could have a say on this too
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Ash Man
Feb 12, 2019 10:04pm
When people in power can’t do what they are supposed to do blaming external forces is an easy scapegoat.
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Satya Jeet
Feb 12, 2019 10:26pm
Well researched facts. Well written article.
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saqib
Feb 12, 2019 10:38pm
So happy to see such brilliant brains are still found in Pakistan.
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Judge
Feb 12, 2019 11:18pm
Good researched article. In Pakistan all problems has very easy solution and that is to blame India, problem resolved. Ironically general people does not question or ask for solutions.
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Raj Hundal
Feb 12, 2019 11:19pm
Very long and well researched article. It must be published in an Environmental Journal for wider understanding and possible solutions for future generations to breath in fresh air.
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Being human
Feb 12, 2019 11:23pm
Dawn and it's articles are such breath of fresh air..and so different than rest of the soceity and government... I guess nothing will change until people rise up against the authorities..
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MAverick
Feb 12, 2019 11:29pm
Do these people do some research This season lahore was way better than previous 2-3 seasons I think the govt did well by shutting down bricks-chimneys Not blaming any country but as a Lahori I can say with full authenticity that this time around smog was at its lowest level compare to last 3 seasons
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SRI
Feb 12, 2019 11:48pm
How the fire in Indian crops only affects Pakistan main cities and few parts of India? Why it is not affecting other Indian places. good Joke by Minister. Dawn has written it well.
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Indian
Feb 13, 2019 12:08am
Thank you dawn and author for a very well researched article. Even if there is something that can be done from the other side we should try to work together on such problems as neighbours. Problem is usually we don't treat each other as nations. We rely on jingoism to defame the other and facts with actual solutions take a back seat. Information flow such as these is very vital. Thank you once again.
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ROHIT PANDEY
Feb 13, 2019 12:13am
This article WINS. The same way reason and rationality wins over blind emotion. Calm reason articles is what Dawn carries a lot from likes of Pervez Hoodbhoy and now, this gentleman Dawar is chipping in as well. This should be called -EDUCATION- well-researched articles which will increase the scope of THINKING in Pakistan.
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kkk
Feb 13, 2019 12:33am
Forward this to the current govt... this is well researched!
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B.Patel. USA
Feb 13, 2019 12:37am
@Rehmatullah , good response. Regardless whose fault it is, both neighbors do suffer, so some kind of joint efforts to tackle such issues is in the best interest of both.
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Sid
Feb 13, 2019 01:31am
Amazing article DAWN. Kudos.
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shiva
Feb 13, 2019 01:43am
Well-researched & well-analyzed - as a scientist enjoyed reading the whole write-up! Separately, I think both Governments (India & Pakistan) should form a team of experts to quickly find a practical alternative to the regular crop-burning and completely stop crop-burning by 2025. It can't be any fun for the villagers who are having to breathe the self-generated smoke.
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Neutral
Feb 13, 2019 01:52am
I was driving through Lahore with the car window opened during summer and was left with an oily film on my face that smelt like a mixture of diesel and engine oil. Old diesels engines are the biggest polluters.
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Zack Abdi
Feb 13, 2019 02:00am
GHGs come in many forms and add to poor air quality e.g. methane gas emission from landfill due to organic food waste, general MSW (garbage), and HFC gas from aerosol cans. Monitor, Measure and Mitigate is what is needed by the authorities. Introduction to Green Economy and creating Green Jobs initiative can help.
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You said it
Feb 13, 2019 02:03am
@SRI "How the fire in Indian crops only affects Pakistan main cities and few parts of India? Why it is not affecting other Indian places." Kejriwal claims it does affect Delhi
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Exlim
Feb 13, 2019 02:50am
The satellite map showing the crop burning points would be helpful if the author had shown the borders.
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Tariq
Feb 13, 2019 02:57am
excellent Piece
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Rahul
Feb 13, 2019 03:02am
Well researched article. Relieved to hear its not India's fault !
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Muhammad Mohsin Khan
Feb 13, 2019 03:23am
Amazing article and stats ! only if someone on the Govt level can interpret, understand and derive policy from it.
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Uday Kulkarni
Feb 13, 2019 04:14am
A good article and Kudos to Dawn and Mr. Dawar Hameed Butt for excellent article. However I would have liked one more clarification that if you take a closer look at the winds direction in winter; the winds flow from West to East during winter most of the times and despite this India is taking its own steps to reduce fog in Delhi and Punjab areas because crops are indeed burnt in Indian Punjab causing smog in the local Punjab and nearby areas. Similar policy is needed for Lahore as mentioned in above article.
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Aseem
Feb 13, 2019 04:15am
I'm from Firozpur Punjab in India.. it is just 9kms away from international border.. I would like to say that we don't have any smog here in Firozpur.. if India would have been responsible for smog in West Punjab then we would also have been suffering
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sam
Feb 13, 2019 04:27am
Mr Dawar thank you for educating the people abt real problem. By the way please carry out the same research in peshawar and Karachi. I am sure the pollution levels are if not less higher than in Lahore. The pollution is reducing our lives by 5 years! Unbelievable!!
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Ahmed, lahore
Feb 13, 2019 04:35am
Hats off Dawar! You managed to get the point delivered based on satistics. Well these are just figures for the public and the ruling elite here in Pakistan. Had this been published in the west, your report would have made to the annex in the parliament bill. There is a need to collectively work towards a pollution free city. Few takes that might help as well 1. SMEs in residential areas should be barred. This is causing noise, air, and water pollution. 2. Lahore is the capital of Punjab, yet you see Chingchis, autos. Time to go electric. 3. Yearly vehicle testing should be mandatory for running in Lahore to stop those smoky vehicles including bikes to run on the streets.
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vaibhav
Feb 13, 2019 06:20am
We already have Euro 6 fuel in Delhi & within 2020 we'll have it all over India
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Abz
Feb 13, 2019 06:50am
@Being human yes against authority of modi
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kitkat
Feb 13, 2019 07:16am
When world is moving to EURO ^ + in fuel standard Pakistan may move fro m EURO 2 , that too because of non availability of EURO 2 diesel in market. Very very bad indeed. May be waiting for KSA Aramco refinery to start working?
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rehaan
Feb 13, 2019 07:16am
Pakistan needs to invest on Hydro Power and Solar Power. If Pak can generate enough electricity through renewable resources it will automatically resolve many issues. Pak should focus more on research activities to fix issues.
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Pervez
Feb 13, 2019 07:32am
@Abz why would Indians rise up against Modi when he came to power by winning an election? Let's assume in 2019 Rahul becomes the PM still India will not give up Kashmir.
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ad
Feb 13, 2019 07:56am
why are crops burned? What purpose does that serve?
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Raza I. Naqvi
Feb 13, 2019 08:00am
Please add on that Lahore air also filled with cardio toxic pollutants, too.
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Khan
Feb 13, 2019 08:11am
This year smog all over Pakistan was less and in some places it was not observed.what do you say about it
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Human
Feb 13, 2019 09:00am
While pollution problem is well known, the smog coming from India is a reality and well acknowledged by environmentalists. Interestingly, the article does not even mention the harmful effects of Indian smog even once.
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BRK
Feb 13, 2019 09:00am
Very well researched article!
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Muhammad Sabir Imtiaz
Feb 13, 2019 09:23am
If transportation is the main cause of air pollution and SMOG then why this only happens in Lahore and not in Karachi, as the second one has a double vehicles as Lahore has. As shown in one of the above Graphs air quality deteriorates with temperature drops and improves with temperature rise. Then the claim of authorities seems true that major cause of smog is burning of crop residue in India. As in east Punjab hot spots are more than west Punjab (Except May and June, Temperature is high in these months so despite of burning more residue air quality remains same).
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Adnan Latif
Feb 13, 2019 09:50am
It's a good article and it's nice to see data, which makes sense. The peak in pollution level in winter months seems like a weather related phenomenon. The air density is higher in winter months so the pollution does not disperse easily as in the summer months, which results in hazardous pollution levels. I agree with the author that our government needs to take serious steps to combat pollution rather than blaming others for it.
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sach baat
Feb 13, 2019 10:08am
Here in India there is a mission called Swacchh Bharat- Clean India. Look at how people throw thrash everywhere, open defecation was rampant. Even people throw plastic bottles from their Mercedes car. But now there is some awareness. Plastic carry bags are banned in Maharashtra. While travelling in train people buy fruits and nuts and throw the waste under the seat. We spit everywhere. Cleanliness, safety, environment are all alien concepts in sub continent from Afghanistan to Bangladesh- i.e. subcontinent. I appreciate the author, but what is needed is that messages need to be communicated to every citizen of our nations. Cleanliness, environment responsibility is everyones not just of the government.
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Kamran Zali
Feb 13, 2019 10:32am
This may be well done but has no links to sources of data and does not account for the coal fired plants near the border on the Indian side. Maybe he should looked at Google earth to see the plants.
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human
Feb 13, 2019 11:04am
some logicals brain still exist in pakistan..
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Pawan
Feb 13, 2019 11:08am
Good article. But will Pakustani politicians accept scientific studies that point the blame to their own country? It's against their well-built, anti-India rhetoric.
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Varadarajan ra,an
Feb 13, 2019 11:17am
I live in Bengaluru. While our problems here, have as yet, not reached the situation as referred in this well researched article, our demand has been that we publish a current state with all data and then State a vision for the future. Every project, especially relating to Transportation and Mobility can then be understood and evaluated better by all. Without this, every project announcement sounds ad-hoc.
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Muhammad akram
Feb 13, 2019 11:49am
A very seriously searched article. I hope that the concerned ministry will pay heed to the problem of air pollution in Punjab. There is another issue to which people of Punjab and in particular people of Lahore are silently suffering and that is noise pollution. You can blow horn of vehicles at the highest level. Motor cyclists, rickshaw drivers, private car owners all like to play horn all the time. The mosques and mardaras have installed scores of Loud speakers and they use them at highest volume, not just for Azan, but for prolonged sermons, at places started well before Fajar.
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Amin Khan
Feb 13, 2019 11:51am
Not the Fuel (Diesel and Petrol) Quality but poorly maintained vehicles. No tuning, no adjustments to efficiency.
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priyanjan
Feb 13, 2019 12:14pm
Nice and well researched article.
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Rizwan Ahmed Qamar
Feb 13, 2019 12:32pm
well written. smog is multi-dimensional problem. There are many factors influencing smog. so handling this issue is not easy. However it's impact on human can e minimized with proper awareness.
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Lilly
Feb 13, 2019 12:53pm
India is leap froging to Euro VI standards. Manufacturing equipments are in place to comply with this new standard. Petroleum companies are in that process too. Deadline is nearing and all works are going in full flow.
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Vishwas
Feb 13, 2019 12:54pm
Pakistan government must quit casual approach and take serious steps through scientific methods to curb air pollution.
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Atika
Feb 13, 2019 01:21pm
Excellent piece
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Dhanesh
Feb 13, 2019 02:28pm
India never complains about their neighbours because she got very nice ones.
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Bhil
Feb 13, 2019 02:29pm
If the truth be told,it is easy to blame someone else. This of course means that you don't have to do something about it. If you were to take some of the blame, then you have to do something about it. This are the age old politics of Pakistan. Deflect and ignore
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Amar
Feb 13, 2019 03:11pm
Excellent article with well researched technical, environmental and economic data. A privilege to read such an enriching study.
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Alla Bux
Feb 13, 2019 06:43pm
@ad Not crops per se. But the stubs after the harvest. That is how they get the land ready for re-planting and also the ash acts as fertilizer suppying much needed nutrients.
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Jim Bo
Feb 13, 2019 10:40pm
I've not noted mention of need of catalytic converters to all 4-stroke engines, i.e. scooters, cars, from small truck to large trucks. This means 2-stroke rickshaws should be removed from roads
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Bharat Patel
Feb 14, 2019 02:44am
@You said it Whatever Kerjival says needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The snog only affects Delhi. Why not the rest of India? It is almost certain that the smog in Delhi is because of diesel - used by so many rickshaws
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Wanghai
Feb 14, 2019 05:10am
Promote bikes and cars run on electricity instead of fuels as in China
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Ota Guass
Feb 14, 2019 07:00am
Absolutely fabulous...kudos for such a well researched article
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fairplay
Feb 14, 2019 08:18am
@Raza agree
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Anon
Feb 14, 2019 09:16am
@Joseph Rains in May?
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Kulbhushan
Feb 14, 2019 09:25am
@Human You did not got the conclusion of the article , did you??!!
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Adnan Latif
Feb 14, 2019 10:42am
@Muhammad Sabir Imtiaz Karachi is a coastal city and wind blows away the pollution. That's the reason that pollution level is lower in Karachi
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Adnan Latif
Feb 14, 2019 10:46am
@Joseph It is raining every other week this winter. However, the pollution level keeps on shooting to dangerous levels while there is no crop burning in January or February. Pakistan has a very poor track record of environment preservation and one of the worst vehicle emission standards globally.
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R.Kannan
Feb 14, 2019 11:27am
Good anlysis. Pollution is an issue that cuts across borders and North India suffers from similar problems in winters and this is forcefuly highlighted by Indian media. However, an analysis in 2018, showed that part of the problem originated with dust storms in the Middle East getting carried over hundreds of kilomteres and settling down in North India due to the cooler climates in that region. One wonders if Mr Butt had studied this aspect and its contribution to the issues in Lahore.
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Imtiaz hussain
Feb 14, 2019 03:45pm
Very well written article on climate change and smog issue of our country. You touched the quality of diesel but wheat about vehicles running on roads? Are they following any standards and what is the contribution of old vehicles with faulty engine. Rice residue burning is increasing since 2000 as more farmers are using combine harvesters and then burning the residue for easy land preparation for wheat crop. This burning continues during October to mid December. This burning of residue can be reduced with the use of Zero till happy seeders for wheat planting.
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Tariq, Lahore
Feb 14, 2019 05:11pm
Smog is a man made phenomena. It's a bi-product of spent fossil fuels, coal, gasoline and diesel etc, from vehicles and general industry. Lahore, case in point in particular during the winter months when the air cools, the harmful particles abound in the atmosphere descend to ground level. The emission of the fossil fuel particles from vehicle exhausts and industry need to me 'manged and monitored' by way of 'clean air' legislation and all vehicles must be fitted with 'catalyst' converters which neutralises harmful particles before exiting the exhaust.
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Narinder Saini
Feb 14, 2019 10:57pm
Best and they scientific analysis that I have ever seen Great job by the author. Very timely and appropriate
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Jeetesh Dash
Feb 15, 2019 11:44am
Dear Readers , this is one of the best worded article I have read in The Dawn - kudos . It is a mindset - blaming others for our problems . Same with Pakistan and same with any other country OR person . Lahore , what it used to be 20 years back has degraded fast . Only reason may be that neglect over the years and not finding the correct reasons and a step-by-step problem solving process . Let's hope small talk is avoided and some concrete measures are taken to get it's glory back ! Well-Wishes from an Indian .
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Vaibhavvohra
Jul 27, 2019 05:48am
Very good article..no nonsense..
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