I had been reading about the smog situation in Lahore for several weeks but this was the first time I had encountered it. In Pakistan, tradition only comes to us when a problem comes to life. The cry of the situation is wept in institutions and columns. Wherever politicians get the opportunity, they run into allegations against each other and then committees are formed by the government to solve the problem. But as the intensity of the problem diminishes a bit, things start to come back to normal and by then the energy of all the players on the field is responding as they have no habit of spending their energy.
In the case of the annual crisis of SMOG, yes it is a crisis, the above steps are repeated and all of them sit back and wait for a miracle to solve the problem. In an article published last week in Dawn's EOS Magazine, Ahmed Rafi buried some of the fabrications we have been told about the issue. Most of the data presented here are derived from this article. This article also contains the opinion of Abid Omar.
One of the encouraging aspects of the ongoing debate on smog has been the emergence of problem awareness among younger people. Due to the frequent school closures due to smog, students lose their classes, so children are now well aware that their health and education are at risk due to environmental factors.
Despite the pollution damaging the health of children, the elderly and pregnant women, we are not serious about controlling the increasing pollution in the country. We know very well how serious pollution is to human health, but instead of resolving the issue with the vigor we cover our heads in the sand.
For example, a day spent in Lahore during pollution at the height of Lahore is like drinking a whole pack of cigarettes. The habits of cigarettes are short-lived years, so I would not want to enter nicotine in such a large amount of nicotine. In particular, it can easily affect infants. It can damage their mental and physical growth, and when pregnant women breathe in this toxic atmosphere, it gets to the uterus.
The Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI) has installed several instruments to check the air quality in Punjab. Instead of welcoming the efforts of the NGO, government officials began to say that their equipment could not be trusted. If this is the case, then the government should install its own equipment.
Coal-fired energy projects in Thar show how far we are from a global consensus on global warming and global carbon emissions losses. Interesting politics has laid a bar on our eyes that we do not see the great problems of the present. So unless we make our leaders accountable to all, then the situation remains the same.
We also need to understand that to address these issues, it is necessary to talk to the neighbor on the basis of mutual cooperation so that the situation on both sides of the border can be improved. The supply of clean air to Pakistani and Indian children can be ensured without a solution to Kashmir.
I am afraid that unless the number of people who suffer from smog or the number of people suffering from a serious illness increases, the movement will not be taken by politicians and bureaucrats.
As soon as the balloon stops, life will start to come back to normal and everyone's interest in the matter will start to decline. Of course, committees will be set up for suggestions, but nothing will change until the next smog season.