Pakistani Lahore ranks first in terms of the most polluted cities in the world on Saturday. “We’re dealing with problems that didn’t exist in the past,” said a hospital paramedic, pointing to an increasing number of patients being seen with sore throats.
The air quality index (AQI) in the metropolis of 11 million inhabitants showed 260 units on Saturday morning. This put Lahore at the top of the ranking of the most polluted air cities in the world by Swiss company IQAir, operating an air quality monitoring platform on a global scale. It was the same on Wednesday when 348 units were measured. 300 is considered the safety limit for the human body.
– Before, we treated patients with COVID-19, then with dengue virus, and now, when the smog rises, we admit many patients with a sore throat. We are dealing with problems that did not exist in the past, said paramedic Mohammad Junaid of the Lahore Hospital, adding that he himself now suffers from a sore throat.
Lahore. “City of gardens swallowed by smog”
“The city we used to call the city of flowers and the city of gardens is swallowed by smog,” said one of the residents. As he described, some – in order to protect their eyes from air pollution – while walking through the city streets, cover their eyes with their hands, and this results in road accidents.
Lahore is famous for its large number of parks and gardens. One of the most popular is the Shalimar Gardens, created during the reign of Shah Jahan, the ruler of the Mughal Muslim Empire. In 1981 it was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. During the reign of Shah Jahan in the 17th century, the empire experienced its greatest glory.
Smog in Lahore
The composition of the air over Lahore deteriorated due to the accumulation of exhaust fumes from low-quality diesel fuel and smoke from burned fields. Lower winter temperature, especially in windless weather, favors smog stagnation.
Rao Sardar Ali Khan of the Punjab Police said that anti-smog measures will be taken. They are to apply to vehicles that emit the most exhaust gases, factories and farmers burning stubble.
In recent years, city residents have been constructing air purifiers on their own and have brought lawsuits against local authorities whose policies boil down to blaming neighboring India for the terrible air condition or considering the statistics exaggerated.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / RAHAT DAR