Provincial capital of Punjab has been declared the most polluted city globally after the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) went above 280.

The Air Quality Index data was released on Wednesday and put Lahore on the list of the most polluted cities in the world while Karachi came in seventh.

On the other hand, PM2.5 concentration in Lahore air is currently 46.3 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

According to details, the worst quality of air was recorded in Kot Lakhpat as AQI reached 479, followed by Bahria Orchard 407, Model Town 396, Gulberg 368 and Township Block Two at 364.

Residents choking in acrid smog pleaded with officials to take action. Air pollution has worsened in Pakistan in recent years, as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog.

Lahore, a bustling megacity of more than 11 million people in Punjab province near the border with India, consistently ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution.

In recent years residents have built their own air purifiers and taken out lawsuits against government officials in desperate bids to clean the air -- but authorities have been slow to act.