Lahore among world’s worst cities for its air quality

Published February 14, 2021
Heavy fog blanketed major cities of Punjab, affecting road and air traffic. — AFP/File
Heavy fog blanketed major cities of Punjab, affecting road and air traffic. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) once again turned very unhealthy on Saturday as the US AQI highlighted a score hovering between 208 to 320.

Lahore is ranked as one of the most atmospherically-polluted cities of the world, an official source in the environment department told Dawn.

Meanwhile, heavy fog blanketed major cities of Punjab, affecting road and air traffic as motorways were closed and several flights cancelled because of low visibility levels.

However, the motorways and airports resumed the operations around 11am after the visibility improved considerably.

The weather turned colder and intense fog was witnessed in the morning hours and at night.

The AQI was recorded 244 in Lahore, which put the city on the top of the list of the polluted cities in the world, followed by Dhaka and New Delhi.

The authorities claimed that many brick kilns had been shut down for not switching over to the Zigzag technology due to which the air pollution levels has been reduced.

According to the Meteorological department, fog has returned to the plains of Punjab due to low air pressure and change in weather and also because of the closure of the westerly winds. These weather conditions would continue for the next two to three days, they added.

Fog is also witnessed in various other areas of Punjab due to which other highways, including motorways, have to be closed. Besides, flights have also been affected due to fog at Lahore Airport.

According to a daily report updated at 9pm by IQAir, the city had the worst AQI at various spots, including 320 at Falcon Enclave (Cantonment), 276 at HAC Agri Ltd, 254 at Model Town, 252 at 1FCC Gulberg (Syed Maratib Ali Road), 244 at the US Consulate, 218 at the FC College, 216 at Khana-e-Saleem, 213 at LUMS (DHA), 209 NetSol and 208 at Askari-X.

Lahore has been regularly ranking at the top of IQAir Visual’s live pollution chart of the major global cities.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2021

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