Punjab government plans artificial rain in Lahore to curb smog

It has been decided that preparations should be made for artificial rain in Lahore on 28th or 29th November.

View of heavy fog in Lahore in the morning.  -Online
View of heavy fog in Lahore in the morning. -Online
  • Smog continues to persist at other major urban gateways including Lahore.
  • The Punjab government is considering options to curb air pollution.
  • The LHC ordered the closure of all schools and colleges on 18 November.

LAHORE: Amid the worsening smog situation in Lahore, the Punjab government has started planning to bring artificial rain in the provincial capital later this month. news on Friday.

This will be the first experiment of its kind in the country.

In this regard, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Provincial Environment Minister Bilal Afzal and Education Minister Mansoor Qadir in which the evaluation of short, medium and long term measures to control smog in the city was discussed.

The meeting was attended by Environment Secretary Rashid Kamalur Rahman, representatives of Environment Protection Department, Sparco and various universities.

Artificial rainfall to eliminate smog was also discussed and it was decided that preparations should be made regarding artificial rainfall in case there is a possibility of cloudy sky on 28th or 29th November.

The provincial minister said that a team and working group should be formed to provide artificial rain which will consult on providing aircraft to provide artificial rain.

Bilal Afzal said that clouds are necessary and the working group will have to consider all aspects of artificial rain. He said that the final proposals of the working group will be sent to the Chief Minister for approval.

Punjab’s districts including Lahore Jhang, Hafizabad, Khanewal, Nankana, Bahawalnagar and Sheikhupura are facing the worst air pollution.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court has ordered authorities to close all schools and colleges in smog-affected districts on November 18. The court also directed the government to implement the policy of working from home two days a week.

Why is pollution worse in South Asia than other places?

The countries of South Asia have seen significant increases in industrialization, economic development and population growth over the past two decades, leading to increased demand for energy and fossil fuels.

While sources such as industry and vehicles affect most countries, some major contributions are unique to South Asia, including solid fuel combustion for cooking and heating, human cremation, and agricultural waste burning.

For example, about 38% of the pollution in New Delhi this year has been caused by stubble burning in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana – a practice in which the stubble left after paddy is harvested is burned to clear the fields.

Along with the development of the area, the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads has also increased the problem of pollution. For example, in India and Pakistan, the number of vehicles has increased fourfold since the early 2000s.

According to government data, New Delhi, which has been ranked the world’s most polluted capital for four consecutive years by Swiss group IQAir, has 472 vehicles per thousand of population, and about eight million vehicles on its roads by 2022 .

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