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Pakistan

'Find a solution,' say residents as smog blankets Pakistan's Lahore

  • Air pollution has worsened in Pakistan in recent years, as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog
Updated 17 Nov 2021

LAHORE: The Pakistani city of Lahore was declared the most polluted city in the world by an air quality monitor on Wednesday, as residents choking in acrid smog pleaded with officials to take action.

Lahore had an air quality ranking of 348, well over the hazardous level of 300, according to IQAir, the Swiss technology company that operates the AirVisual monitoring platform.

"Children are experiencing breathing diseases for God's sake, find a solution," labourer Muhammad Saeed told AFP.

Air pollution has worsened in Pakistan in recent years, as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog.

Lahore, a bustling megacity of more than 11 million people in Punjab province near the border with India, consistently ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution.

Hazardous: Lahore tops 'air quality and pollution city' ranking

In recent years residents have built their own air purifiers and taken out lawsuits against government officials in desperate bids to clean the air -- but authorities have been slow to act, blaming the smog on India or claiming the figures are exaggerated.

"We are poor people, can't even afford a doctor's charges," shopkeeper Ikram Ahmed told AFP.

"We can only plead with them to control the pollution. I am not a literate person, but I have read that Lahore has the worst air quality and then comes India's Delhi. If it continues like this, we will die."

"Before, I used to come (for a walk) with my children but now I don't bring them out with me," Saeed the labourer said.

"There are factories and small industries operating here, either shift them somewhere else, give them compensation or provide them with modern technology, so we can get rid of this smog."

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3 Comment(s)
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Noor Nov 17, 2021 11:56am
The government needs to take action on a lot of things .In fact everything I can think of from law and order to inflation to climate issues and the list goes on.
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Nazir Nov 17, 2021 12:28pm
Smog is caused by engines inefficient burning of fuel wether it is diesel or Gasoline. Heavey vehicles age and cause major health hazard by emitting harmfull nox, sox and CO into atmosphere which again and again fall back after rising up at slightly high temperatures. Solution is do not allow more than 5 year old diesel driven vehicles on road. Also Control on railway carriages emmisions esp. in Lahore jurisdiction. or invest in carbon capture technology for the large cities by giving subsidies to industries as a reward to industry in and around large cities.
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Shahab Rizvi Nov 17, 2021 01:46pm
While Mr. Almas Hyder Chairman Engineering Development Board (EDB) is proposing export of 4 wheelers from Pakistan, why are they not insisting on the deletion program for Auto Makers in Pakistan, which is costing the country hard currency? Why do we need to import headlights for cars assembled in Pakistan from a Chinese manufacturer in Malaysia which happens to be a much smaller market then Pakistan. Why is the Government allowing the import of Gas Guzzlers like SUV's into Pakistan again bought through hard currency and a drag on our fuel resources. All non-commercial SUV's should be allowed only if full cost in hard currency is deposited with the Sate Bank before issuing an import permit. Expensive non-commercial vehicles above 1800 cc should be mandated to pay PKR 500,000/- in Road Tax every year
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