Lahore is now considered amongst the most polluted cities in Asia
For last few years, Lahore has been badly hit by toxic smog, the dense layers of smog has covered the city in smoke and surrounded by a toxic cloud of chemicals.
The dense blanket of smog made the citizens of Lahore suffer with eye irritation and respiratory problems all over the day on Wednesday.
Lahore has recently been listed amongst the top 10 worst cities for smog in 2014 survey due to harmful substances like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide which causes major health risks, including asthma, lung tissue damage, bronchial infections and heart problems.
In the winter months with delayed rainfall, the cold and continuously dry conditions concentrate all the pollutants in the lower levels of the atmosphere, causing the smog to spread all over the Punjab.
Pakistan desperately needs to make available information about air quality to the public in order to push for change to deal with huge air pollution challenges.
Due to crop burning this year in India the air quality in Lahore and Punjab is only going to get worse due to which sign of global warming as the weather in the West, for by now there should have been rains breaking the winter snap.
The problems has grown worse over the last five years and even in summer Lahore is know is now a permanent haze hanging over the city that is only relieved when it rains and the pollution is washed away for a short while.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, the smog blanket thickened due to cold high pressure in the upper atmosphere. The smog mostly comprises of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and other aerosols.
The MET office predicted smog for the next week as mainly dry weather is expected in most parts of the country and there is no chance of rain in the city. According to the MET Office, shallow foggy and misty weather conditions are expected in plain areas of Punjab and upper Sindh during morning hours.
National climate change expert Dr Qamar uz Zaman Chaudhry said The main source of the pollutants in our lower atmosphere is Eastern Punjab where all the coal based industries are centered (across the border in India). Of course, we have added our share of the pollutants as well from factory and car emissions
There is a need for a comprehensive action plan to address worsening levels of pollution not only in Lahore but throughout the country in which NGOs and the media will have to play a pivotal role.