Lahore’s persistent smog crisis: a November to remember

Lahore Smog

LAHORE: Tis year too, smog has been lingering in Lahore since the beginning of winter. There was hardly a day in November when Lahore did not top the global index of air pollution.

On November 23, Lahore emerged as one of the most polluted cities in the world as the Air Quality Index (AQI) surpassed 500. Given this, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi called a meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Anti-Smog and imposed a smart lockdown in 25 districts of six divisions of the province including Lahore on November 24, 25 and 26.

Educational institutions remained closed in twenty-five districts including Lahore on these three days. Businesses were allowed to open at 3pm on November 24 and 25, while business was completely closed on November 26. On Lahore’s busiest Mall Road, only bicycles were allowed to ply until 5 pm to address the smog crisis.

High Pollution Areas Include Upper Mall Road, Polo Ground Cantt Area, and Johar Town Block A

Despite the serious measures taken by the government, there was no significant improvement in the air quality index of Lahore. There are a few areas in the city where the air quality index is consistently highest during the smog season.

Shimla Pahari Chowk consistently ranks among the most polluted areas of Lahore. AQI was recorded at 519 on November 23, a day prior to the implementation of the soft lockdown. Subsequent AQI readings were 523 on November 24, 392 on November 25, and 370 on November 26. On November 27, the AQI was recorded at 492.

Smog Hotspots: Shimla Pahari Chowk, Shahra e Quaid e Azam, DHA Phase Eight.

Shahra e Quaid e Azam is also one of the most polluted areas of Lahore. Air Quality Index was recorded at 474 on November 23, 520 on November 24, 416 on November 25, 300 on November 26 and 481 on November 27 around at Shahrah-e-Quaid e Azam which is Lahore’s busiest road.

Read more: No smog restrictions over the weekend in Lahore

DHA Phase Eight is also among the most polluted areas, where the AQI was 272 the day before the lockdown, 405 was recorded on the first day of the lockdown, 359 on the second day and 394 on the third day, while the AQI was 517 on November 27.

Defence Phase V had an AQI of 232 on November 23, an air quality index of 475 the next day, an AQI of 239 on November 25, an AQI of 502 on Sunday, November 26, and a pollution rate of 492 on November 27.

At Mushtaq Garmani Road in Gulbarg II, last Thursday, November 23rd, AQI was 318, it was 50 on November 24th, AQI was 261 on November 25th, while the city’s AQI was recorded at 353 on November 26th and on Monday, it was recorded AQI 545 on November 27th.

Upper Mall Road, Polo Ground Cantt Area, Johar Town Block A, DHA Phase III and Bedian Road are also among the areas where the pollution rate is high.

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