Pakistan’s two biggest cities came first and second from the top in the most polluted cities of the world on the air pollution measurement scale. Lahore was measured to have 187 hazardous particulate matter and Karachi 179 particulate matter, according to the air quality index. It is to be mentioned here that AQI as high as 151-200 is considered unhealthy, while an AQI reading between 201 to 300 is more harmful and AQI over 300 mark is dubbed extremely hazardous.
On average, the PM2.5 concentration in Lahore’s air is currently 16.8 times above the World Health Organization (WHO) annual air quality guideline value. Air quality statistics released by the Regional Meteorological Centre in Lahore show that the increasing meteorological conditions indicate that there are chances for aerosols in the atmosphere in the coming days, which may result in poor visibility. The AQI may also remain in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive group’ range for the Lahore region during the period.
According to experts, the air becomes heavier in the winter as compared to summer, causing poisonous particles in the atmosphere to move downwards and making the atmosphere polluted. As a result, a layer of polluted particles, including large amounts of carbon and smoke, covers a city. The smoke produced by factories and by burning coal, garbage, oil or tires enters the atmosphere and the effects of this appear at the onset of winter and remain till the season’s end, experts said. Thus, air pollution reaches extremely dangerous levels in cold weather, severely compromising air quality. Although southwestern winds blowing from the sea in Karachi may work as a filter for the air, and these winds remain mostly suspended during the winter, according to experts. “Observing the data from years past, it appears that pollution levels in Karachi are actually getting worse rather than improving,” the Swiss company said that measured these AQI.
under these circumstances, Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Amir Jan has issued important instructions for anti-smog, according to which the Department of Agriculture and ACs will take the strictest action on burning crop residues. He has said that the anti-smog squads should take full action at night, and there is no exemption for setting fire to garbage and green waste, and any non-environmentally friendly industry, kiln, vehicle, crop owner, etc.