LAHORE: The provincial capital on Thursday again topped the global pollution ranking with an unhealthy air quality level during the whole day.

Lahore, the second-largest city in Pakistan, continues to suffer from a smog crisis that has affected the health and livelihood of millions of people.

According to the IQAir, Lahore’s air quality was the worst in the world, with the air quality index (AQI) at a “hazardous” 470, followed by Delhi at 302 and Karachi at 204.

The smog, which is caused by a combination of vehicle emissions, industrial pollution and crop burning, has reached dangerous levels, with the concentration of PM2.5, the most harmful particulate matter, exceeding 15 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

The smog has also reduced the visibility and disrupted the flight operations in the city.

Many residents have complained of respiratory problems, eye infections and skin diseases due to the toxic air. Some have even left the city to escape the smog.

On Wednesday, the Punjab caretaker set-up had announced the closure of all educational institutions and public and private offices on Saturday in the province as part of measures to mitigate smog. The decision was made by the provincial cabinet in light of the Lahore High Court verdict.

The smog crisis in Lahore and Punjab is not a new phenomenon. It occurs every year in October, November and December, when the weather conditions trap the pollutants in the lower atmosphere.

According to a global environmental think tank, IQAir, Pakistan is the third-most polluted country in the world, and Lahore is the most polluted city.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...
X diplomacy
Updated 12 Jun, 2024

X diplomacy

Both states can pursue adversarial policies, or come to the negotiating table and frankly discuss all outstanding issues, which can be tackled through dialogue.
Strange decisions
12 Jun, 2024

Strange decisions

THE ECP continues to wade deeper and deeper into controversy. Through its most recent decision, it had granted major...
Interest rate cut
Updated 11 Jun, 2024

Interest rate cut

The decision underscores SBP’s confidence that economic stability is gaining traction.
Rampant zealotry
11 Jun, 2024

Rampant zealotry

Decades of myopic policies pursued by the state have further aided the radicalisation of significant portions of the population.
Cricket breakdown
11 Jun, 2024

Cricket breakdown

THERE was a feeling that Pakistan had finally turned the corner in their T20 World Cup campaign. Sadly, it was only ...