Beyond the shadow of any doubt, Lahore is known as the heart of Pakistan. But due to the negligence of inhabitants, it is ignominiously entitled as the highly polluted city in the world. Ordinarily, the air quality of Lahore exacerbates during the tenure of the winter season that lasts from October to February. Actually, during this time span, the farmers of Punjab province burn the remnants of crops and when it amalgamates with vehicular exhaust, stack emissions, brick kiln fumes, and dust particles then the situation becomes worse. All this ends up as smog and degrades the quality of the air. Now, the AQI of Lahore is highest as compared to other cities.

AQI is used to determine the air quality. It acts like a thermometer that ranges from 0 to 500 degrees. If the AQI value is higher than 100 degrees then it means that the air quality of that region is unhealthy. Currently, Lahore is dealing with an extremely unhealthy environment. Lahore ranked at 10 according to AQI, in the year 2018. But now, in 2021, the scenario has changed and regrettably, Lahore stands at the top of the list in a miserable condition. Reducing AQI of Lahore is not a hard nut to crack if these steps are taken individually like carpooling, using public transport, switching to biodiesel, and cleaning up the effluents before discharging into the atmosphere, to reduce the adverse environmental impacts. Afforestation is always a greener option towards a pollution-free environment.

USBA FAYYAZ,

Lahore.