India and RAW Behind smog blanket in Lahore
Residents of Lahore suffered in a dense blanked of smog on Wednesday that reduced visibility and caused respiratory problems in addition to a number of other problems. Social media was flooded with users expressing their concern at the smog blanket that covered the city with many users on popular microblogging website Twitter writing to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif and expressing their concerns. The smog blanket also covered the surrounding areas of Lahore and affected the Lahore-Islamabad motorway.
The problem of smog has grown worse over the past few years due to the high levels of pollution and poor air quality in the city, created by increasing automotive and industrial emissions. The unprecedented construction work in Lahore and the unchecked cutting of trees has also greatly contributed to this problem. The situation is so grave that even during the summer months, there is now a permanent haze hanging over the city that is only relieved when it rains and the pollution is washed away for a short while. However, in winters the problems gets much more serious and yesterday’s smog blanket has been one of the most serious in recent years.
Air pollution is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed as Lahore is now considered one of the most polluted cities in Asia. The problem in Punjab could get a lot worse with the completion of the under construction coal-fired power projects, notably the one near Sahiwal.
Soon after construction work on the project began, a number of petitions were filed with different courts, including the Supreme Court (SC), questioning its execution on environmental grounds. The petitioners argued that the project would leave adverse impact on health and environment and was hazardous for flora and fauna as well. It is pertinent to mention here that the entire world is now shifting away from coal-fired plants due to environmental concerns but here in Pakistan we are moving toward coal-fired plants that are bound to have an affect a detrimental effect on the environment of the province.