Air quality in Lahore has been declared ‘very unhealthy’ for its inhabitants as smog has engulfed the entire city with a change in the weather.
The provincial capital has been ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world with US Air Quality Index (AQI) rating of 246.
Data shows that the provincial capital is ranked as the third most polluted city in the world followed by New Dehli and Ulaanbaatar.
It shows that the highest level of environmental pollution is recorded in Model Town, Johar Town, Green Town and Cantonment areas of Lahore on Monday.
Owing to a high level of environmental pollution in the city, complaints of respiratory diseases and throat and eyes infections are on the rise.
Medical experts have advised citizens to avoid unnecessary visits to open spaces and use facemasks and eyewear. Turn window panes of their houses closed to minimise the impact of the contamination in indoor environments.
Punjab Minister for Environmental Protection Department Muhammad Rizwan, while addressing a news conference on Monday, said the public needs to understand that smog is a form of air pollution that fumes into the air, created by the combination of fog while the major cause of smog included 43 per cent pollution from the transport sector, 25 per cent emissions from industries account and solid waste burning contributes 20%.
Large-scale burning of crop residues in India also aggravates the smog situation in Punjab, especially in Lahore.
He highlighted that the department has set up special smog committees at the district level while the establishment of smog squads has been ensured in the department. The brick kilns and industrial units being monitored on daily basis, in addition to sealing the polluting industrial establishments, fines are being levied.
In case of non-compliance with the instructions of the department, the violators are being fined and cases registered against them.
The provincial minister said that in order to control the traffic pollution, the department along with the traffic police has been conducting various operations and imposing fines. Pollution control devices are being installed in air pollutants units.
He said a pilot project in collaboration with SPARCO has been initiated in Lahore to develop different types of environmental models to address the root causes of pollution.
In addition, pollution is being monitored on a daily basis in the provincial capital and information is being provided to the public through the media.
He also appealed to the media representatives to support the government in spreading awareness among the people to prevent environmental pollution.
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