The Punjab government has imposed restrictions, including a ban on burning crops and barring vehicles from the road that emit visible smoke in order to counter smog as winters approach. There is recorded evidence of persistent deterioration in the Air Quality Index in Punjab. The level has gone down from a satisfactory one to moderately and poorly polluted levels.
The Environment Protection Department (EPD) of Punjab has directed that brick kilns using “old technology” in the province be closed immediately. The brick kilns will be closed in select cities from November 20 till December 20. The notification, however, stated that brick kilns using “zig-zag technology”, a design change that makes more efficient use of fuel, would be allowed to operate.
Officials in Lahore have decided to use artificial rain to decrease the smog level in the provincial capital. Commissioner Lahore Division Asif Bilal Lodhi has said that the idea will be executed if smog levels go out of control. Lodhi says there will be no compromise on people’s health and urged the traffic police, transport, and agriculture departments, to take concrete measures.
Lahore’s air quality remained ‘hazardous’ with an air quality ranking of 447, according to Air Visual’s Air Quality Index (AQI) list. The Punjab capital is ranked second most polluted city in the world, according to Air Visual, which records air pollution levels across the globe in real time. According to Air Now, “the entire population is more likely to be affected” at hazardous level.
After a sudden spike in Lahore’s Air Quality Index (AQI) from less than 200 to more than 500 late, the chief minister announced closure of public and private schools on Thursday. This is the first time that smog has forced closure of schools. As per Lahore US consulate Air Quality Monitor feed, the level of smog was hazardous and at 10pm, Lahore’s AQI was PM2.5 – 580.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has blamed Pakistan and China for the high levels of pollution in India. The Indian lawmaker alleged that one of the two neighbouring countries are responsible for releasing poisonous gas in New Delhi. The leader claimed that Pakistan was ‘frustrated’ because “it could not register a single victory in any battle”.
India’s capital New Delhi was enveloped in heavy, toxic smog Sunday, the worst levels in recent years which lead to diversion of flights. The recommended World Health Organisation safe daily maximum reading for pollutants in the atmosphere is 25 but it hit 810 micro grams per cubic metre Sunday morning. Locals complained of sore eyes and throat along with visibility issues while driving.