Just as every year, the toxic smog has returned to Lahore. This year, the calamity seems to be worse than it has ever been. A mixture of thick smoke and fog has taken over Lahore and its adjacent cities completely.
People living in Lahore have constantly been complaining of breathing issues, blurring of vision and burning of the eyes. The Lahore smog has also made people complain about having watery eyes and sore throats.
Because of the same issue, Chief Minister Punjab had earlier announced that all schools in Lahore would remain closed to protect children of all ages.
“Due to the sudden increase in smog, all schools in Lahore will remain closed tomorrow. We are closely monitoring the #LahoreSmog situation. The administration is already on high alert and has tasked them to escalate actions against crop burning and other factors that contribute to smog,” said a tweet from CM Punjab’s official Twitter account.
AQI reaches 700
Ever since yesterday, the AQI (Air Quality Index) has been increasing in the city. The Lahore smog has become unbearable after crossing an AQI reading of 300. However, the AQI has increased up to 700 in some parts of the city.
TV reports suggest that Lahore’s most posh Zaman Park had recorded an AQI of 640 yesterday. This is the same area where the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan resides. Currently, the Lahore smog reading can be dubbed as ‘hazardous’ and an ’emergency’.
What is smog?
Smog, in easier words, is a mixture of both smoke and fog. The phenomena usually occur in winters. A plethora of different reasons cause this harmful and unlivable environment. Emissions from industries, car fumes, smoke from brick kilns, burning of garbage and old crops, construction, all contribute to the issue.
Over the last few years, Lahore and New Delhi have been the biggest victims of smog. The phenomenon only gets worse when gusts of winds accompany it, as is the case in Lahore right now.
Currently, Lahore tops the chart of AQI around the world, standing at a reading of 550+, coming down from 700. To compare this reading, the highest level of AQI in cities like London is 65.
Social media on fire after Lahore smog
People of Punjab, especially Lahoris, have been very vocal about the issue on social media. Constantly engaging the government’s accounts, users have shown what the Lahore smog is doing to them.
The Air Quality index in Lahore crossed 700 today and now its at 551.
State of emergency is declared in countries when it crosses 300 but here our Minister of Climate Zartaj Gul calls it a fake propaganda and belaming India for this 🤦🏻♂️
— anastipu (@teepusahab) November 6, 2019
Constant complaints of the smell of burning, sore throats, and watery eyes have taken over social media. People have been taking the government to task on not handling the issue when there was ample time to.
Furthermore, people have also been suggesting remedies to overpower the issue. Wearing glasses, face masks being somewhat people can do. As for the government, a ban on extra construction, demand for more trees and planting of roadside greens are also among some recommendations.
I’ve just reached #Lahore from Islamabad and immediately felt an assault of gross smoke. Eyes burning, lungs feeling heavy, coughing. This feels more severe than our familiar (also gross) smog. What’s going on? #LahoreSmog
— Mariam TS (@mariamtee) November 6, 2019
It is now the government of Punjab’s diligence to handle the issue in a timely fashion. Every year, it is the same story with no different result. People of Lahore keep suffering, along with residents of cities such as Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, and Faisalabad.