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Soaring air pollution

ISLAMABAD: Soaring air pollution here had made the Director General Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Farzana Altaf Shah on Monday urge the citizens to reduce mobility on vehicles for three months amid soaring air pollution in the federal capital.

The EPA DG was of the view that increasing smog in Lahore has ringed the alarm bells to ensure strict monitoring and measures to avert any smog risk in the federal capital, she told APP in her exclusive talk on increasing air pollution and its mitigation measures.

Ms Shah said one of the major sources of air pollution in the federal capital was high vehicular emissions, burning of household trash, plastic waste, and brick kilns in the far vicinity.

She added that industrial emissions particularly from the steel manufacturing units were contained through reverse bag dark carbon absorbing technology after rigorous efforts of the EPA.

She pointed out that the brick kilns owners were also sensitized to convert their kilns over zigzag technology which was fuel efficient and environment friendly.

She said the months of November, December and January were critical as extreme drop in temperature would lead to increasing prevalence of suspended particles in the atmosphere leading to air pollution.

“The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad residents are requested to avoid maximum travelling over vehicles and opt for carpooling or mass transit sources,” she added.

Ms Shah informed that the EPA air quality monitors were regularly calculating the air pollutants’ ratio and the most hazardous particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) was beyond the permissible limits.

The National Environment Quality Standards (NEQS) was 35 microgrammes per cubic meter for PM2.5 whereas currently it was beyond 60 microgrammes per cubic meter on average since the last one week.

She said at present the only remedy was to reduce vehicular emissions, plastic or garbage burning and responsible behavior of the masses to maintain the ambiance clean and healthy. | YouTube Channel

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.