ISLAMABAD:Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Thursday said Lahore is not among the topmost polluted cities of the world.
In her video message shared on her twitter handle, she said, “Google maps clearly indicate that total air pollution existing in the region comprised of 80 percent area of India and only 20 percent of the pollution is indicated in Pakistan’s territory.”
Ministry of Climate Change has been making all out efforts to prevent smog in Punjab and particularly in Lahore through close coordination with the provincial departments.
“Punjab Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has sealed 155 furnaces or industrial units emitting dark hazardous smoke and overall 261 such unit have been shut down across the province to curb serious air pollution,” she informed.
She urged the public to consult calibrated and authentic data of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and EPD Punjab air quality data of Lahore shared through its Wagha Border air monitoring system.
However, she said there are around 18,000 to 20,000 brick kilns in the country where no deadline has been issued to halt the kilns production as they also spew dark emissions resulting smog.
“People should not compare Pakistan with a developed country like Austria in terms of air quality rather should be considered on regional level. In that case, Pakistan has done a lot on its part. We are not much polluted country as compared to India but due to transboundary pollution we are directly facing the grave impacts of air pollution being a neigbouring country,” Zartaj noted.
She went on to mention that the general public should discourage the unauthentic air quality data recorded through hand gadgets and private companies.
“The winter season is about to start where crop stubble burning would be carried out in the agrarian areas. I advise the farmers to avoid burning stubble as it would directly contribute to generate smog in the province,” she added.
It merits mention that India has expressed reluctance to hold talks over transboundary pollution in the region.
The Adviser to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has categorically mentioned to raise Indian transboundary pollution marring Pakistan’s air quality.