Rain clouds appeared over Pakistan’s Lahore for the first time. Equipped with the necessary equipment, the planes flew over many districts. The aim of the action was to alleviate the smog that bothers the inhabitants of the metropolis in winter. However, this solution raises doubts among experts.
Smog is a serious problem not only in our part of the world. Many Asian countries, including Pakistan, also struggle with it. To combat the burdensome pollution, the city authorities of Lahore decided to artificially sow rain clouds.
Condensation made easier
The initiative, backed by the United Arab Emirates, involved planes equipped with cloud seeding equipment. At the end of last week, they flew over 10 districts of the city.
“The teams, along with two planes, arrived here about 10-12 days ago,” said Mohsin Naqvi, prime minister of Punjab province, of which Lahore is the capital.
Cloud seeding involves releasing a mixture of salts into the clouds – their crystals facilitate water condensation, which can cause precipitation. The rain then washes pollutants from the air, bringing relief to residents. So far, the process has been used in several countries, including the United States, China and India.
Concerns about the future
However, cloud seeding technology causes considerable controversy. Ghulam Rasul of the International Union for Conservation of Nature warned that while the solution may provide temporary relief smog, it is not permanent. It is possible that its frequent use may contribute to dry weather conditions, which will make smog even more persistent.
Malik Amin Aslam, a former adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister on environmental issues, added that the government should “explore the consequences of interfering with nature” and use the technology wisely. As he explained, such solutions may distract attention from the fight against smog sources, such as transport, industrial emissions, waste incineration and the decreasing area of green areas.
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