Choking on hazardous smog, Lahore’s residents are appealing to the government to act and safeguard the health of the megacity’s residents. A Swiss Air quality monitor declared Lahore to be the world’s most polluted city.
Lahore had an air quality ranking of 348 on Wednesday, well above the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared hazardous level of 300, according to the Swiss company that operates the AirVisual monitoring platform.
Resident and labourer, Muhammad Saeed, was quoted as saying by AFP news agency “Children are experiencing breathing diseases … for God’s sake, find a solution”. He added, “ Before, I used to come [for a walk] with my children, but now I don’t bring them out with me”.
For the past many years, Lahore has consistently been ranked among the most polluted cities in the world. A mixture of low-grade fuel and smoke from seasonal crop burn have been blamed as the major culprits causing the severe form of pollution.
Residents have few options to deal with the situation on their own, and hence many have taken out lawsuits against the government. Authorities, however, have been slow to act, blaming the situation on air flowing in from India and claiming that false figures are being quoted in the media.
Ikram Ahmed, another resident, lamented, “We can only plead with them (the government) to control the pollution. I am not a literate person, but I have read that Lahore has the worst air quality, and then comes India’s Delhi. If it continues like this, we will die”.