Smog issue and our priorities

November 12, 2017

Lahore is the most affected city by smog. The problem of smog has grown worse over the past few years due to the high levels of pollution and poor air quality, created by increasing automotive and industrial emissions. The unprecedented construction work in Lahore and the unchecked cutting of trees has also greatly contributed to this problem. In winters the problems gets much more serious and recent smog blanket has been one of the most serious in recent years.

Air pollution is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed as Lahore is now considered one of the most polluted cities in Asia. Persistent smog is causing an uptick in viral infections and respiratory problems. The crisis situation has been experienced by the inhabitants of Punjab as they experience the ill effects of eye diseases, and throat and respiratory issues. The smog has intensified because of a persistent dry spell, and low visibility caused many road accidents which resulted in the death of dozens of people.

This is a crisis circumstance but it seems provincial government it not aware with the level of urgency. There is no shortage of environmental and climate change specialists, but government seems is no mood to utilize them in forming a comprehensive policy to tackle issue of smog. It is unfortunate that residents are paying for this neglect through their health and lives.

We can have idea about seriousness of the government in dealing with smog issue from the fact that authorities don’t have enough air quality checking equipments. In such a scenario when we don’t have proper idea about the level of the issue we are dealing with, how we would be able to tackle it in a serious manner? Though government claims it has taken some measures to control the situation, but it seems strong political will is missing to improve the situation. The administration needs to audit every ecological enactment and punish contaminations whether they are in industrial or business areas. Serious legislation also required in this regard. There is dire need to set the priorities straight. Tackling issue that is harming the health and lives of citizens must be the top most priority of government.

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