rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » SMOG: Delhi, Lahore's common enemy

SMOG: Delhi, Lahore's common enemy

Last updated on: November 14, 2017 12:13 IST

India and Pakistan are arch nemesis. Ties between the two countries have been strained ever since 1947 when India gained Independence and Pakistan was carved out of the nation.

However, in 2017, the countries’ biggest cities -- Delhi and Lahore -- are fighting a common enemy: Smog. 


LAHORE

 

In the last one week, nearly 60 domestic and international flights have been affected daily due to smog and heavy fog which affected the visibility level that touched zero.

IMAGE: People use face masks to protect themselves from morning smog as they ride on bike along a road in Lahore, Pakistan. Photograph: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
 

The Punjab Environment Protection Department (also confirmed the presence of alarmingly high level of smog-causing pollutants in the air in Lahore, the second-most populous city in Pakistan after Karachi.

“At least 60 international and domestic flights have been affected in Lahore and some other cities of Punjab since the last week. Despite rescheduling of the flights the dense smog or fog is hampering the flight operation of both Pakistan International Airlines and foreign airlines,” PIA Lahore spokesman Athar Awan said.

Hundreds of cases of burning of eyes and throat irritation are being reported at hospitals in the city daily.

IMAGE: The smog has led to hundreds of cases of burning of eyes and throat irritation.
Photograph: Mohsin Raza/Reuters

Smog is creating additional problems for children, the elderly and those suffering from pulmonary diseases.

According to the EPD’s readings, the average particulate matter 2.5 in Lahore was 330 milligram per meter cubic as against the yearly average of 35.

IMAGE: The average particulate matter 2.5 in Lahore was 330 milligram per meter cubic as against the yearly average of 35. Photograph: Mohsin Raza/Reuters

The level of particulate matter --10 was 370 as against the tolerable 150. Similarly, the oxygen nitrogen (vehicular pollution) was 120 as against the desired 40. 


DELHI

 

On the other hand, Delhi’s air quality has generated headlines worldwide in recent days. The situation has become so dire that authorities have enforced emergency measures such as banning construction activities and brick kilns in the National Capital Region.

IMAGE: A man walks near a park littered with trash in Delhi. The air quality was back to severe plus on Monday as the government enforced emergency measures. Photograph: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

The air quality was back to "severe-plus" or "emergency" category on Monday. The average Air Quality Index in the national capital on Monday was 449, with PM2.5 at 447 units.

For the entire Delhi-NCR, the average was 440 units, with PM2.5 at 438 units.

IMAGE: A traffic policeman, wearing an anti-pollution mask, mans traffic amid smog and air pollution which continues to be above dangerous level, at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

The safe limit for PM2.5 -- particles in the air with a diameter less than 2.5mm -- is 25 microgram per cubic meters as per international standards, though it is 60 units according to Indian standards. 

IMAGE: The average Air Quality Index in the national capital on Monday was 449, with PM2.5 at 447 units. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo

-- With inputs from PTI

AGENCIES