Lahore’s worst air quality poses health hazards

Published November 6, 2022
In this file photo, commuters drive their vehicles on a road amid heavy fog and smog conditions in Lahore. — AFP/File
In this file photo, commuters drive their vehicles on a road amid heavy fog and smog conditions in Lahore. — AFP/File

LAHORE: With the onset of the winter, the smog and air quality situation in Lahore continues to get worse day by day. It was marked as the city with the worst air quality in the whole world once again on Saturday.

The air quality levels of Lahore are continuously falling to hazardous levels. At 8pm, the air quality of the city on the AQI (air quality index) was noted to be 481, the worst of the day, according to the iqair.com, which monitors the air quality across the world. It was equally bad during the rest of the day as the AQI US was 437 at 7am.

Individual areas of Lahore fared even worse. Dawn Bread Kot Lakhpat at 8pm was at 613, Venus Housing Society 517, Phase8-DHA 478 516, Pakistan Engineering Services (Pvt) Ltd. 513, CERP Office 503, Syed Maratib Ali Road 502, Sector R DHA Phase 2 493, Venus Housing Society Main Blvd 476 and Khana-e-Saleem 451.

On Nov 5, the Environment Protection Department’s own data, shared online, also showed the worst air quality of Lahore at 375. However, this report is based on 24 hours data, which shows average air quality of the 24 hours.

Air quality worst in the world again; CM for launching electric mini-carts in place of motorcycle-rickshaws

In the AQI ranking of world cities, Lahore (in real time) was followed by Delhi (279), Ulaanbaatar Mongolia (182), Dhaka (177) and Karachi (174).

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi approved introducing electric mini-carts in place of the motorcycle-rickshaws. He presided over a meeting in which the government decided to promote environmentally-friendly electric bikes to reduce pollution.

The CM said electric bikes and cars would be encouraged in the province. He revealed a readable token sticker would be pasted on the vehicles after conducting their inspection and in case of the absence of a readable inspection token the vehicle would immediately be put off the road.

The district administration claimed to continue action against industrial units and vehicles involved in spread of smog and ignoring anti-smog steps. As per a report issued by the district administration, special teams, including five anti-smog squads set up in the month of September this year, started inspection of 1,231 industrial units.

The teams served 461 notices on the factory owners, asking them to follow anti-smog steps. They sealed 320 industrial units over violations and imposed a Rs5.2m fine as well.

The teams also took strict action on breaking seals of 93 sealed units without the permission of authorities concerned and registered criminal cases against such factory owners.

Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali remained in field and developed a system of information about actions of field teams and their follow-ups.

He said that all teams would remain active in the field in the current month and the next. He claimed the crackdown of the previous sixty days had brought about desired results, mitigating the spread of smog in Lahore.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2022

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