By Aryan Khan
Lahore is consistently been declared and known as one of the most polluted city globally
Air pollution is a major environmental problem that affects billions of people throughout the world. It’s a major risk to people and the planet, adding to the rising rates of respiratory disorders, cancer, and other ailments. Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, has been named the most polluted city in the country and the third most polluted city in the world earlier this year, according to a survey by IQAir. This shocking number shows how critical it is to immediately begin working to reduce air pollution in Lahore and other cities of the country. The government, companies, and residents of Lahore must immediately address the severe air pollution that threatens public health.
The two largest contributors to air pollution in Pakistan are the manufacturing and transportation industries. Over 11 million people claim Lahore as their home, making it one of the world’s most populous cities. It is also one of the most industrialized and automobile-dependent. Particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide levels in the city’s air have all risen to dangerously high levels in recent years, far beyond those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, cases of asthma, eczema, and other allergic reactions have skyrocketed.
The lack of efficient waste management systems in the city only makes matters worse. Some of the major contributors to Lahore’s air pollution are the open burning of trash, unregulated industry pollutants, and vehicle emissions.
The government has taken some steps to solve the problem, such as implementing stronger pollution rules and introducing cleaner fuel. However, these restrictions have been poorly implemented and enforced due to a lack of political will and corruption. We all can play our role in reducing air pollution. Minimizing use of private vehicles, carpooling, and disposing of the trash correctly are all easy ways to make a big difference. Tree plantation and encouragement of green spaces also contribute to cleaner air and a better environment.
It would take a comprehensive and coordinated effort from all parties involved to reduce air pollution in Lahore and the country. The government should enact and strictly enforce more stringent restrictions and policies, such as expanding access to public transportation, prohibiting the open burning of trash, and prioritizing the development of renewable energy sources. Both businesses and individuals need to take responsibility for their contributions to counter global warming by consciously reducing their carbon footprints through adoption of cleaner technology and practices. Moreover, the government can also form alliances with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gain access to foreign money and expertise. The business sector has the potential to significantly contribute to reduce air pollution by investing in sustainable technology and practices.
Finally, Lahore’s status as the most polluted city in Pakistan and the third most polluted city in the world should serve as a wake-up call for immediate action to solve the issue of air pollution. Pollution in the city must be reduced, and all parties involved must work together to make that happen. Public health, the environment, and the country’s progress will all suffer severely if this is not done. We can secure a brighter and healthier future for ourselves and future generations by banding together and adopting preventative action.
Lahore ranked first most polluted city at country level and third most polluted city globally this year.
The writer is student of BS Journalism at School of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore and can be reached at [email protected]