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LAHORE: The Punjab government has questioned the veracity of satellite images of temperature anomaly-based spots taken by Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), said reliable sources.

The issue was raised in a meeting related to the issue of smog in the city chaired by Chief Secretary Punjab the other day.

It was informed to the meeting that the cross-border images of Indian Punjab have suggested that the intensity of smog was three to four times higher than the city of Lahore because of the continuous stubble burning there.

Accordingly, the satellite images of the spots with temperature anomaly in the Indian Punjab were obtained through SUPARCO. However, the images were showing either standing crops or barren lands against such spots. Therefore, some of the participants of the meeting had expressed their doubts over the credibility of the images taken by SUPARCO, said the sources.

Interestingly, in a similar earlier meeting chaired by Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR), it was found that faulty air quality measuring systems of Environment Protection Agency were recording incorrect reporting of the air quality index in the city. Now, the Chief Secretary Punjab-led meeting has questioned the accuracy of the satellite images taken by SUPARCO.

According to the sources, the meeting was in agreement on the point that the government should invest on accurate reporting systems, both at the EPA and SUPARCO before issuing data on the air quality.

However, the meeting had expressed its satisfaction over the analysis of EPA that the air quality index of the city of Lahore was better than the Indian side due to the measures taken by the department over the last one year.

It was only the wind direction from India towards Pakistan that had intensified the smog factor in the city of Lahore. However, the wind has changed its direction from Wednesday onwards that has resulted into clarity of the atmosphere in the city.

Meanwhile, the EPA officials apprised the participants of the meeting about 20 to 25 percent drop in the intensity of fog this October comparing with the corresponding period. They said this drop was due to the precautionary measures taken by the department over the last one year.

A reduction in the intensity of fog was also due to overstretched monsoon spell in the country that kept the moisture intact in the atmosphere and the soil wet on the land.

It was informed to the meeting that there was huge variation in the smog intensity during the last year, which was not the case for the month of October this year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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