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HomeNationalCitizens’ exasperation rises with ‘hazardous’ smog levels

Citizens’ exasperation rises with ‘hazardous’ smog levels

Several people report breathing difficulty, sore throats, headaches as Lahore, Karachi envelop in smog

Smog has citizens gasping for breath, with several irked over the government’s inefficiency in dealing with the grave health crisis that has enveloped cities like Lahore in a dense, wispy cloud of hazardous particulate matter (PM).

According to local news reports, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Lahore was a ‘ hazardous’ 337 according to IQAir on Wednesday and Thursday. Educationist Ammar Ali Jan said that air purifiers were now a necessity, which reflected the ‘state’s failure’. He said that citizens had to pursue ‘private education, private health and private sports-clubs’ and now they had to curate their own safe water and air. Jan furthered that the condition of cities was ‘criminal and unsustainable’.

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In a separate tweet, Jan had previously said that political parties lacked the acumen to deal with the smog crisis and that youth needed to be at the frontlines to combat pollution. He said that the air quality was making it especially difficult for the elderly and children to breath.

Haroun Rashid, a retired businessman also commented on government’s inefficiency. He tweeted a notice by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in a local newspaper, in which the CM declared smog to be a provincial crisis. Rashid said that the government had sprung to action after the storm had already begun.

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In the grave environmental hazard, fashion designer Khadijah Shah resorted to dark humour and said that Lahoris were an ‘endangered species’ who should be enjoyed till they perished due to the high AQI.

Citizens in parts of the country also reported health troubles in the wake of worsening smog. A person from Karachi said that he was at a rooftop when he started experiencing throat ache and breathing problems. He said that the residents in the area blamed trash burning in Korangi and furthered that the metropolises in Pakistan were fast becoming inhabitable.

Educationist Jasir Shahbaz said he had lived in Lahore his whole life but after recently living abroad, his immune system could not take the perilous smog as he was now suffering from runny eyes, sore throat, and a persistent headache.

Writer Nadeem Akram meanwhile pointed towards India and said that Pakistan suffered smog due to the neighbouring country. Akram said that Pakistan was facing the brunt of living next door to the most polluted country in the world, New Delhi.

Smog has become a burgeoning issue in Pakistan in last few years during winters. This year too, as chiller temperatures set in, the mixture of fog and smoke has started causing health problems for citizens. With different values of the AQI floating around, the Punjab Environmental Protection Department (EPD) on Thursday said it would take legal action against those spreading disinformation regarding air quality of Lahore through inaccurate readings presented under the purview of the Air Quality Index (AQI).


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