The question of climate change has become as important to today’s world as terrorism is but unfortunately the former has not received the due attention. Air pollution is one major contributor in making the climate worse by every passing day. Lahore is the most effected city of environmental pollution in Pakistan which has hazardous participated matter in the air which many people considers to be fog that arrives every year in the beginning of winters and to amazement such people think that rainfall suffices to fix this problem. However, in reality it is smog- amalgamation of fog and smoke which is in fact detrimental for our health. The seriousness of the issue regarding the health can be gauged from the fact that according to the State of Global Air 2017 report on global exposure to air pollution and its disease burden, conducted by the Health Effects Institute in Boston, Pakistan’s air quality has consistently been worsening for years, causing an estimated 135,000 deaths in 2015.
There are many sources of this air pollution like excessive emission of chloro fro carbons, green house effect, unregulated polluting factories and particularly in Lahore the rise of automobiles has become a chief source of air pollution. It was reported that nearly 4 million vehicles registered in Punjab in 2005 reached to over 13 million by 2014. The other important factor contributing to air pollution in Lahore is supposed to be the excessively cutting of trees primarily because of infrastructural projects like Metro and orange train.
Rina Saeed Khan an environmentalist, reveals shocking results of a study undertaken at intervals between 2007 to 2015. The study suggested that, “In the last ten years in Lahore, the total tree cover went down by 75%.” Other important findings of the study are:
In 2007 tree cover in Lahore was 12,359 hectares
In 2012 it was 7,965 hectares
In 2015 it hit the lowest value of 3,520 hectares
Another environmentalist, and researcher at Lahore school of Economics, Tabitha Spence writes in her article to Dawn that,
“The only way out of this abyss is by addressing the air pollution crisis in lock-step with meaningful and coordinated strategies to provide a path for all Lahoris to have clean, affordable and safe transport, housing, schools, water, and electricity, which will require creating an underlying logic that prioritises the needs of people and the planet over private gain.”
We cannot shut our eyes to this grave problem and government needs to act responsibly on this issue before it gets too late. Zia ul Islam, programme manager of the National Ozone Unit under the Ministry of Climate Change,Speaking at a workshop on Air Pollution and Smog at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences on Wednesday, said, “If we don’t address the air quality problems, the world will not forgive us.”
MediaBites Editoorial: Mudabbir Ali & Imran Malik
Pakistan First Media And Brand Website.
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