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Sunday, February 5, 2023
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EditorialWorsening smog

Worsening smog

Air pollution in Lahore is a major issue of concern due to the dense population, industrialization, and increasing levels of vehicular emissions. The concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 in the city has been increasing steadily in recent years, leading to a significant drop in air quality. The government has taken several measures to tackle the problem, such as banning diesel-powered vehicles, restricting the use of fireworks, and increasing the number of green spaces. However, more needs to be done to reduce the levels of air pollution in Lahore.

The Punjab government has notified the closure of schools thrice a week due to the dangerous amount of smog in areas of Punjab, particularly in Lahore. The Lahore High Court (LHC) directed the administration to announce the closure of schools in Lahore for at least three days a week. Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, who called pollution a “calamity,” ordered the proper implementation of a strategy intended to lessen haze in the province and stated that steps should be done to control the causes. The CM advised that the departments of transportation, industry and environmental protection should travel to the field in coordination with administrative officers.

Smog can be controlled by burning fewer fossil fuels, as this is the most effective way of reducing smog. This can be done by replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with electric or hybrid cars, using public transportation, carpooling, and biking or walking when possible. Moreover, planting more trees is likely to help with this issue.  Trees absorb pollutants and produce oxygen, which reduces smog levels. Planting trees near roads and other pollution sources can help. Another important solution is the increased use of renewable energy. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power do not emit pollutants.  Additionally, improving the fuel efficiency of cars and other vehicles can help to reduce the number of emissions they produce. Improving air quality standards by setting and enforcing air quality standards can help to reduce smog levels by limiting the number of pollutants that are released into the atmosphere. Lastly, utilizing clean technology such as filters, catalytic converters, and scrubbers can help reduce smog levels by trapping pollutants before they are released into the atmosphere.

It is imperative for the government and the people to actively participate in the drive against smog. There are a number of health issues associated with smog, such as respiratory illnesses, heart disease, an increased risk of cancer, damage to the lungs and reproductive system, and reduced life expectancy, among other risks. Not only will these problems affect individuals, but they will also have negative consequences for the economy at large. With poor health, people will become unproductive, and there will be a greater burden on the already frail health system. Hence, it is of utmost importance to take swift action against the problem of smog in Lahore.

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