In the News

November 9, 2023

Toxic smog chokes Pakistan and shuts cities

According to the Air Quality Life Index produced by the University of Chicago, air pollution shortens people's lives by almost seven years in Pakistan's most polluted regions, including Lahore.

Smog in the country’s second-largest city Lahore has risen to dangerous levels.

The Punjab provincial government has ordered that schools, offices, malls and parks in three cities, including Lahore, be closed until Sunday.

Pakistan’s Punjab province borders the Indian state of the same name.

Over the past few days, Lahore’s Air Quality Index – which measures the level of fine particulate matter in the air – have hovered around the 400 mark. AQI levels at or below 100 are generally thought of as satisfactory. Lahore borders the Indian city of Amritsar.

North India is also suffering from the impact of toxic smog.

Air pollution in the Indian capital Delhi has risen to alarming levels. On Tuesday, the air quality index for the Indian capital hit 300 on 7 November, nearly reaching the hazardous levels of 301-500.

Some Lahore residents told BBC Urdu that the noxious atmosphere is a frequent affair that has severely affected their health and other daily activities.

“It feels like this poisonous atmosphere has become a part of our lives,” said salesman Ameer Hamza, whose work requires him to be out and about on a motorcycle for much of the day.

Continue reading on BBC…