The problem of air pollution has been steadily growing in Lahore and many other cities of Punjab. The situation in other major Pakistani cities, such as the large coastal city of Karachi, is not much better. However, the situation in Lahore is alarming, as its fair value rises to 40 times the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines. The unprecedented smog in the “city of gardens” comes from a confluence of intrusive factors.
Lahore air quality has declined over the past decade, at a time when about 70% of its trees have been cut down to make way for more residents. The vehicles are still very much in the form of high levels of sulfur-containing gas that have a 40% impact on air pollution in Lahore and the province around Punjab. Even the unadulterated form of fuel available in Lahore is of low quality. The thriving industries around Lahore, including those that burn tires to power their factory units, add another 25%. Farmers who burn their fields at certain times of the year to prepare for further planting, as well as thousands of brick kilns on the outskirts of the city, add to the problem. Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global carbon emissions but is among the top 10 most climate-vulnerable nations.
Smog is extremely harmful to humans,animals, plants and nature as a whole. It hampers visibility, makes breathing difficult and disturbs the environment. It is well known for causing irritation in the eyes and throat resulting in intense coughing and may also lead to inflammation in the lung tissues and may give rise to pain in the chest. Cold and pneumonia is also related to smog and people suffering from asthma and bronchial infections must avoid exposure to smog. Smog accounts for a rapid sprout in fatal health problems, including exacerbation of asthma, allergies, eye infections, respiratory tract infections, and cardiac pathologies leading to premature death. Sughis et Al reported a concerning finding related to this situation, observing significantly higher levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in the school children of Lahore, exposed to high levels of air pollution. Lahore, along with the rest of Pakistan, desperately needs to move away from its dependence on fossil fuels. Doing so can help clean up the transportation industry and generate energy at the same time to help fight Pakistan’s energy crisis.