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EditorialLahore’s bad air

Lahore’s bad air

In 2022, Lahore had the worst air quality in the world, according to a yearly poll by a Swiss air purifier manufacturer. Lahore rose more than 10 places to claim this title. Based on the quantity of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5, the survey calculates the levels of air quality. Its yearly poll is often acknowledged by academics and government agencies.

Lahore is known for its high levels of air pollution, particularly during the winter months. As the city is a major industrial hub in Pakistan, with many large-scale factories and power plants. The emissions from these industries, including particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide, contribute significantly to the city’s air pollution. Other than industries, the other major contributor is vehicles on its roads, including both public and private transport. These vehicles release a significant amount of pollutants into the air, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter. The practice of burning crops in the surrounding areas of Lahore also contributes to air pollution. Crop burning releases large amounts of smoke and other harmful gases into the atmosphere, which can spread to the city. Lahore is a rapidly growing city, and construction is ongoing in many areas. Dust from construction sites, as well as from unpaved roads, contributes to the city’s air pollution. Also, Lahore’s location in a basin, surrounded by mountains, makes it susceptible to air pollution. During the winter months, temperature inversion traps pollutants in the city, making the air quality even worse.

A combination of industrial emissions, transportation emissions, agricultural practices, construction, and geography contribute to Lahore’s bad air quality index. Addressing these factors will require a coordinated effort from the government, industry, and citizens to reduce pollution and improve the quality of the air in the city. While there is no one solution to this complex problem, there are several ways to minimize air pollution in Lahore. The number of vehicles on the roads should be reduced. This can be achieved by promoting the use of public transport, carpooling, and cycling. The use of clean fuels such as natural gas and electricity can reduce the level of pollutants in the air. Energy-efficient practices can reduce the amount of energy consumed and, therefore, the amount of pollution generated. This can be achieved by promoting the use of energy-efficient appliances, reducing energy waste, and using renewable energy sources. Industries and power plants must install proper emission control measures such as scrubbers, filters, and catalytic converters. This can help to reduce the level of pollutants emitted into the air.  Trees are natural air purifiers and can help to absorb pollutants from the air. Increasing the number of trees in and around Lahore can help to reduce air pollution.

Raising awareness about the harmful effects of air pollution can help to encourage individuals and businesses to take steps to reduce pollution. This can be achieved through public education campaigns, workshops, and seminars. Governments can implement policies and regulations to reduce air pollution. Overall, minimizing air pollution in Lahore will require a multi-pronged approach that involves government action, individual responsibility, and a commitment to sustainable development.

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