So it’s that time of the year again for Lahore when everything just goes up in smog. It’s not just the weather that is to blame for it though. This is not your routine fog that comes with a change from the change in season. Rather it’s something far more lethal and deadly. It’s actually a testament to the country’s growing troubles with pollution that is largely overlooked. Not only can you not see anything clearly but it also makes breathing unbearable.
This year around, Lahore is covered in this thick haze of pollutant smog and let’s just say the people are left frustrated
— Waqar Ghani (@_waqarghani) October 30, 2017
Lahore at 3.30pm today. This smog is supremely disturbing, to say the least. pic.twitter.com/AAJFxCgJ30
— Maryam (@EmmeJays) October 31, 2017
— Mohsin Haleem (@MohsinHaleem21) October 31, 2017
And it’s not just Lahore that is covered in smog, other parts of Punjab and Islamabad, are engulfed in it, too
— Mariam (@creepybyron) October 31, 2017
— M. Saad Arslan Sadiq (@Arslan_Sadiq) October 31, 2017
Much like last year the popular belief is that the smog is caused by burning of crops in India, however according to experts the problem is far more complex than that
Climate expert Dr Mehmood Khalid Qamar noted that one of the major reasons for the smog was high levels of hydrogen sulphide emanating from the drains along with the overall greenhouse effect.
Fresh readings from the recently installed environment monitors in Lahore show that the level of carbon monoxide was 21.29 (milligram per meter) on the Mall Road, 17.52 in Mohlanwal, and 6.94 in Gulberg’s Liberty Market as against the maximum permissible limit of 5. Meanwhile hydrogen sulphide levels were at 772.69 on Zafar Ali Road. The normal limit is 150 per day.
The Sulphur Dioxide in Punjab’s air was caused by junk fuel, according to Humera Aysha from the WWF
According to her, in Daroghawala alone, the sulphur dioxide level was at 1373.1 where around hundreds of mills including 600 steel factories are present. Emissions from these factories are the culprits.
On the offside, the Met Department’s stance on it is STILL that the smog is caused by the burning of crops in India and NASA confirms that there is a large area in North Eastern India where crops are being burned
A senior met official told Radio Pakistan that roughly 32 tonnes of crops were burnt in India that produced carbon monoxide which is blown towards Lahore in the month of October due to the wind direction.
Even if India’s crop burning is one of the reasons for the smog in Lahore, there is no denying that the effects of non-crop burning related pollution
It is ever more apparent across the world are now. In 2014 German media company, Deutsche Welle, reported that Lahore was one of the worst city across the world in terms of smog.
They attributed this to high volume of road traffic, rubbish incineration and dust from surrounding deserts.
Last year the world signed the Paris Agreement with the aim of protecting the world’s deteriorating eco-system however subsequent studies have indicated that the controls implemented are still not enough. Studies at National Center of Scientific Research in France indicate that the whole Southern Spain would essentially become a desert if proper actions aren’t taken against global warming.
Pakistan has a long way to go in terms of doing something about the environment as the issue holds little or no priority in the eyes of our leaders. We hope that something is done about it before it’s too late.
Cover image via: techrave.pk