No respite yet as Lahore remains shrouded in smog

LAHORE : The sky was murky on Tuesday morning as smart lockdown imposed by the caretaker government could not rid the provincial capital of smog.

The caretaker Punjab government had taken a bold decision to opt for a smart lockdown as the menace of smog persisted, causing respiratory ailments to the people.

The smog became denser on Tuesday than a day before as the three-day smart lockdown reduced air pollution to some extent. However, Lahore became most polluted city of world after going down the ladder briefly. Its air quality index (AQI) rose to 413 at midday from 280 in the morning. Karachi was at third place with 222.

Meanwhile, the caretaker Punjab government has formed a working group comprising representatives of federal and provincial departments concerned and the military to execute the project of artificial rain in Lahore.

The decision to set up the working group was taken during a meeting held at the Civil Secretariat presided over by Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman on Monday.

The meeting reviewed the projects of artificial rain and installation of towers to curb smog in Lahore.

Administrative secretaries of various departments, including environment protection, agriculture, finance, and officers concerned attended the meeting.

The caretaker Punjab government has decided to consult China to control smog, said sources.

The Chinese government slapped a two-day bar a week on half of the vehicles from plying on roads. Moreover, it closed coal-fired power plants. The measures brought smog down by 40 percent.