According to the recent report of the US environment protection agency, the Punjab capital, Lahore has been ranked second in the list of Five Topmost Polluted Cities in the World. India’s Delhi being at the top of the list is followed by Lahore. The list of top five includes Indian city Kolkata, Kargystan’s Bishkek, and China’s Beijing among the other three cities with poor quality of the environment in the world. With Particulate Matter (PM) rating of 188 places Lahore under the unhealthy category of air quality. The air quality index below 50 is regarded as satisfactory by the US agency, whereas Lahore stands much higher than the required standards and therefore among the two top in the world with bad air quality. The poor quality of the environment in Lahore and its surroundings is posing a serious threat to the health and hygiene in the area.
The poor situation of the environment in the city did not cause any concern until the issue came in limelight in 2017 when public outcry following smog in the city also became a media talking point and finally the issue was raised in Lahore high court in the public interest. The court in its remarks ordered the government to take the issue seriously and daily updates about the environment should be made public until it is made on an hourly basis. Following the Court's instruction, the Punjab Environment protection agency made a plan to measure Air Quality Index but we are yet to come across any reports that meet international standards and the measures that should mitigate the public woos.
An individual tweeted that Lahore is no more a city to live in. He said, “ Air Pollution in Lahore is the worst, it's becoming increasingly difficult to be healthy in this population. All those planning to live in Lahore should rethink their decision and settle elsewhere. We should also consider changing Lahore as a capital city. It,s too populous,”. The experts believe that the worsening situation of the environment in Lahore and its surrounding is mainly caused by an ever-increasing number of vehicles, the mushrooming industry in the area, and the burning of the remains of crops by the farmers of this region at a time when the weather is changing and the smoke gets stuck in the air owing to changing weather that later turns into smog usually from October till January. all these factors are making Capital "The Most Polluted City in Pakistan".
The government should chalk out a comprehensive public awareness campaign like Awareness Campaign for Margalla Hills Wildlife, to minimize the Effects of Air Pollution in the provincial metropolis. This is possible only when each and every individual should get exact information and data regarding the harms of the worse air quality of the city and the importance of a neat and clean environment for individuals to remove it from the list of World's Most Polluted Cities list as well as for the overall atmosphere of the city. The Prime Minister of Pakistan after coming into power has been taking a personal interest in the issues related to the protection of the natural environment and the existence of living species in the country. The one billion tree tsunami and now a ten billion tree program, the construction of parks and public places, the construction of integrated tourism zones, awareness campaign in Margalla hills and focus on climate change policy clearly define the direction of the current government to ensure a safe and sound environment for living beings in the country.