According to a report by NASA, the persistent spell of toxic smog that looms over Lahore and other parts of western Punjab is not essentially a result of pollution within Pakistan but has been contributed by its perpetual rival, India.
In a forecast, NASA said that the high amounts of “fires and thermal anomalies” are caused by a giant toxic haze rolling into the Pakistani territory from India’s Punjab. This toxic haze has, according to the reports, been generated from 32 million tonnes of leftover straw burnt by the Indian farmers as a part of an traditional practice.
Apart from this, an extravagant amount of pollution has also been caused by the bursting of crackers as a part of Diwali celebrations. In fact, due to this reason, Delhi has been covered by a thick layer of smog that in turn resulted in causing poor visibility with the air quality index reaching an all-time high.
Dr Qamar Uz Zaman Chaudhry, a national climate change expert and ex-Director General of Pakistan’s Meteorological Department, is also of the view that the main source of pollutants in the lower atmosphere is the industry belt located along the international border in Eastern Punjab.
As a result of this Lahore and other areas of North and Central Punjab have been heavily affected. Not only have the motorways been blocked but soon even the flights may be cancelled.
According to the Director General of Pakistan’s Meteorological Department Dr Ghulam Rasool, the situation may continue to loom till December since there has been no rain in the region since October.
According to Dr. Sajid Rashid, Principal of Environment College, University of Punjab, the burning of paddy stubbles in India has to be blamed for it all:
“Unfortunately, in Pakistan, we lack the equipment for real-time monitoring of air quality.”
Too much of smog can cause numerous deadly diseases including lung cancer.
But, we cannot do anything about the wind, can we?