Dear SMOG, can you leave? I want my breath back!

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It has been more than a week since smog dipped the city of Lahore and its residents into it. What’s even more disturbing is that according to weather forecasts these exhaustive gasses will cover Lahore for yet another week. The predictions also claim that it is not going to rain, at least before Wednesday i.e. 8th of November, which could ultimately help in eliminating the smog. However, this isn’t the first time that smog has inundated Lahore. The city had witnessed a similar situation in the previous year which was led to a rise in the health problems. Anyone who engages in any sort of outdoor activity is exposed to smog and its risks. These hazardous gasses are responsible for many sorts of sicknesses that one may encounter. Exposure to smog has left many with breathing difficulties and irritations in the chest. Especially people that are suffering from any sort of allergies or cardiac problems are more likely to suffer. Being a combination of air pollutants, smog has been bringing utter displeasure to the citizens of Lahore. It has led to headaches, coughing, eye infections and what not?

Lahore is one of the biggest and most diversified cities of Pakistan. Being the country’s second largest economic hub, Lahore is fostering an economy which is almost half the size of Karachi. These statistics clearly show that the city is home to many industrial activities. Being the core of so many commercial pursuits, has caused the level of pollution in Lahore to rise beyond imagination and it is a well known fact that smog is purely and initially caused by pollutants in the air. When smoke emitted from factories, vehicles and domestic ovens that use coal mix up with the air and form a thick layer in the atmosphere, the thick layer envelopes over cities as smog.  However another end of the spectrum has now revealed that smog is not entirely a result of the actions of Lahoris. The government of Punjab has blamed the burning of rice fields in India as a reason of smog in Pakistan.

What can be done?

However, whatever the origin of smog may be, everyone from adults to children should change a few of their habits to prevent smog from wrapping up our cities and homes again. All of us should try to use public transport, carpool and walk as much as possible to control the addition of fumes into the atmosphere. Maintaining your car by regularly getting its oil changed will also reduce harmful emissions. Industries should avoid using gas powered equipment. Our government needs to make sure that waste from households and factories is not just disposed off, but is properly cleared out. We need to start making changes in ourselves. Many together can ultimately make much bigger changes. So think today, for a better tomorrow!

The author is a freshman at LSE.

Sarah Zahid

First Year

sarahzahid369@gmail.com