Earlier, it was thought that people would be able to see blue skies, free of air pollution, in the coming future as a by-product of the lockdown. But since the lockdown has been eased, the people have started travelling by using their vehicles. It seems like we have to bade goodbye to the blue skies in the coming future because the air quality is slowly but decreasing.
In order to control the coronavirus pandemic, to save lives, the lockdown has been imposed due to which many services like transportation, agricultural and industrial activities have been put on hold. Due to these steps, the air quality improved enormously.
During the lockdown, Pakistan has shown a considerable drop in air pollution, across the country.
The founder of the Pakistan Air Quality Index (PAQI), Abid Omar said that in Lahore the smog levels were reduced to 62% however, even after all this the pollution was above the safe limits.
The data collected by Abid Omar showed that in Lahore, there was a significant drop in air pollution since many of the machinery and vehicles were not working.
However, a material scientist Adnan Latif said that he noted that things weren’t working outright in some parts, in the midst of May.
He added that during the lockdown things were going on rightly. But when he was driving out of the city, he was shocked to see the different sources of pollution there. There was black smoke coming out of various sources. I could see each kind of pollution in front of my eyes. The people were burning their refuse and waste material, including plastic bottles along the roadside.
Dr Imran Khalid, who is the head of the Environment and Climate Change Department at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad, also had similar viewpoints.
Now, as the transport and industry continues to release more contaminants and impurities in the atmosphere, the situation is going to be more dangerous. According to a report, it was mentioned that the use of coal as an energy resource would be deteriorating the case since the air pollution level in Pakistan is already ranking amongst the highest in the world. It is also reducing the life expectancy and increasing the susceptibility of Pakistani people to the COVID-19 pandemic.