Karachi marathon

January 17, 2020

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APROPOS the news report ‘Thousands pour onto streets to take part in city’s second marathon’ (Jan 13). Reading about the marathon’s success should normally give us great joy. Sadly, it is painful.

I seek the provincial and city officials’ attention to the serious effects to human health because of the deadly and invisible PM 2.5 air particles that severely affect every organ of the human body.

On Sunday, when the marathon was held, the PM 2.5 readings were 58.5wheras the WHO guideline states the permissible level is 10. The Air Quality Index too was an unhealthy 160.

As a safety measure, doctors and ambulances should have been stationed in close proximity. While the race participants were wearing protective masks, the organisers should have put up signboards along the race route and other busy place in the city highlighting the dangers of air pollution and the measures that should be taken to resolve the issue. There should have been large bunting telling the public on how to improve and save the city’s environment.

As a gift to the citizens of Karachi before the next marathon, the authorities should take steps to ensure clean and fresh air in the metropolis.

Venu Advani
Karachi

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2020