The air quality index of AHUR continues to take dangerous shape, according to IQAir.com, a website that monitors air quality in all countries of the world, the air quality index in Lahore was 438 on October 31, while Lahore was at the time of publishing this report. The air quality index reached 303 which is an alarming sign, it is worth noting that if the air quality index is up to 50, the air is healthy.
On the other hand, when the air quality was recorded in the adjoining areas of Lahore, at 8 pm, the air quality index was 401 at Lahore Grammar School, 366 at Pakistan Engineering Services (Pvt.), 349 at CERP office, 349 at Syed Maratab Ali Road. 340, 329 in DHA Phase 2 while 328 air quality index was recorded in Chatta Park.
According to data shared online by the Environment Protection Department (EPD), Lahore’s air quality was recorded at 309.
According to the Air Quality website, pollution has increased in Lahore due to smoke produced by vehicles and industries, burning of crop waste, smoke from brick kilns, general waste and dust from construction sites. Apart from this, large-scale cutting of trees and construction of new roads and buildings also increases air pollution.
The website added that pollution increases alarmingly during winter due to low temperatures.
Apart from this, traffic in Lahore and long queues of vehicles on roads, continuous construction of real estate projects in Lahore and adjacent areas is a separate problem, construction of development projects in the city is contributing to air quality.
In the ranking of air quality index, if we talk about the cities around the world, after Lahore, the cities of Delhi in India, the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, Dubai and Dhaka are included.
On the other hand, in the year 2018, Lahore was ranked 10th in the World Air Quality Report of Air Visual 2018.
Overall, Pakistan ranks second in the list of the most polluted countries in the world due to the worst air quality index.
Meeting to control smog
On the other hand, the Punjab Government has directed the Secretary Administration, Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to take effective measures to improve the air quality in Punjab.
Meanwhile, a meeting was held to control smog under the leadership of Punjab Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sambal.
Department of Environmental Protection, Local Government, Department of Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transport, Department of Health, Deputy Commissioner of Lahore and other departments of the Secretary administration including officers participated in the meeting while Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Okara, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Deputy Commissioner of Hafizabad, Narowal and Faisalabad participated in the meeting through video link.
The Chief Secretary directed all departments to take effective measures to control smog in the province and convene a consultative meeting with the civil society.
It was informed in the meeting that the air quality index of Lahore is being affected due to burning of crop residues across the border of Lahore.
Abdullah Khan Sambal claimed that the smog situation in the province is better than last year but we still need to do a lot to control the environmental pollution.
He issued orders to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to hold consultation meetings with all stakeholders including the civil society. It was decided that all government vehicles should be strictly monitored.
During the briefing in the meeting, the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection said that in October this year, the authorities sealed 1,58 industrial units causing environmental pollution, while 696 cases were registered against those causing pollution and more than 2.4 lakhs. Fines were imposed.
The inspection team registered 583 industrial unit sales and cases in Lahore alone, while more than 3.4 lakh fines were imposed, they said that during the last 2 weeks, 46,000 emitting vehicles were inspected and 3,168 vehicles were impounded. Similarly, 20 cases were registered during the last one month for burning garbage.
The secretary said that due to the direction of the wind, the burning of crop residues across the border is having a negative impact on the air quality of Lahore.