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Tuesday, July 23, 2024  
16 Muharram 1446  

Authorities scramble as Lahore’s smog reaches unprecedented levels

Sources say that Lahore is now the second most polluted city in the world
Labourers load goods on a truck along a road amid heavy smog conditions in Lahore on December 1, 2022. Photo by AFP.
Labourers load goods on a truck along a road amid heavy smog conditions in Lahore on December 1, 2022. Photo by AFP.

With rising AQI levels, Lahore has become the second most polluted city in the world. Authorities are scrambling to find a solution to the enviornmental problem that is fast becoming a health hazard.

According to the reports, the air quality index (AQI) has crossed dangerous levels in various areas as the city of Lahore recorded an AQI of 453.

The AQI was 649 in Fida Hussain Road, 599 in Defense, 556 in Syed Maratab Ali Road, and 533 in the Kot Lakhpat area.

The pollution rates were also recorded at 493 in Main Boulevard and 468 in Johar Town areas of Lahore city.

To control the pollution in the city, the Lahore district administration and the environment department continued efforts and took action against the illegal working of pyrolysis plants.

Due to a violation of the rules, the environment department has disconnected connections of two plants on Turkey Road on a permanent basis.

While the department also recovered thousands of carbon sacks from the plot adjacent to the plants and buried them in a deep pit.

On the other hand, despite the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC), the notification of three days of holidays in a week was not issued in schools.

However, the School Education Department has started considering announcing premature winter holidays instead of three days a week.

How does the government plan to deal with smog?

Aaj News’ Lahore bureau chief Saleem Sheikh reported that the CM Punjab Pervaiz Elahi had decided to deal with smog on an emergency basis. An emergency would mean that smog-related measures would be the top priority for any department.

According to government sources, the major sources of smog in Lahore are car exhaust fumes, brick kilns, industrial smoke and crop burning. Saleem Sheikh explained that burning crop stubble is not an issue in Lahore directly because of limited agricultural area. However, burning crops around lahore in areas like Sheikhupura and Okara could be a factor because of the wind.

There are multiple measures begin discussed ot deal with smog in Lahore.

The traffic police is enforcing a Rs. 2000 challan on vehicles that emit toxic fumes. The government is also trying to make sure that cars emitting toxic fumes do not enter Lahore. A proposal is also under discussion to reitre all cars in the city that are more than 30 years old.

Authorities are also trying to shift all brick kilns to zigzag technology that emits less smoke. There is also a proposal under discussion to shut down all traditional kilns in the months of December and January when the smog problem is at its highest.

The government is also discussing ways to restrict factories to particular areas in Lahore. However, relocating factories might be a tall order. Another step being taken is to sprinkle roads with water before every morning’s cleaning operations begin, so dust rising from roads does not contribute to smog.

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climate change

lahore

Air pollution

smog

Pervaiz Elahi

environment