LAHORE: After heavy rain lashed the province over the weekend, smog levels dropped dramatically.
According to its Jail Road air pointer, the Environment Protection Department’s 24-hour readings revealed that the Air Quality Index fell from over 400 to around 153 on Sunday, while the smog Townhall metre read 65 and the Township read 44, both dropping within the satisfactory rating on the Air Quality Index.
Data from two stations, including the Quaid-i-Azam Industrial Area, were given between 8 pm and 12 pm, where the AQI was 169 and the Kot Lakhpat area from 1 am to 8 am (171), according to the EPD’s mobile air station study.
Over Rs650,000 collected as fine for violating the smog policy
More specifically, although in many places the air quality has not yet dropped below 100, PM (specific matter) 2.5 has stayed at its lowest since after the rain. It was registered as 35 ug/m3 on Jail Lane, while it was only 5 ug/m3 in both Townhall and Township. PM 2.5 was reported higher than 500 ug/m3 by the Air Visual AQ devices on the most dirty and smoggy days, even though it was raining, in crowded places like LUMS (DHA), Gulberg, FC College, etc.
Meanwhile the daily smog survey of the last 24 hours by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab shows that on Sunday (November 15), fines worth Rs659,850 were levied on those violating the smog policy by different government departments; 67 FIRs were reported against violators, and 34 persons were arrested; 114 factories were also sealed.
Just 1,268 out of a total of 7,530 were converted in conjunction with brick kilns that remain to be converted to zigzag technology. Most of these are (over 400 kilns) near Faisalabad, Multan and Kasur.
Readings from the World Air Quality Index given in the EPD study also seem to suggest that air quality levels are worse this year by a figure of more than 100 to 200, compared to 2019, at least for the region around the US consulate, Lahore.
The AQI was 369 on November 15, 2019, for instance, when it was about 466 this year. The 2019 AQI was registered at 286 on November 16, and it was 303 on the same day this year. Other readings are the same during November as well.