People experienced breathing problems, coughing and running noses as Lahore once again topped the list of world’s most polluted cities on Monday.
The air quality index (AQI) in the city was recorded at 271 on Monday. On the other hand, the district administration, police and Environmental Protection Department have intensified crackdown on people and factories causing smog.
During the operation, the district administration sealed off 87 industrial units besides registration of three FIRs and imposing fines amounting to 0.2 million in the city and its outskirts.
Lahore DC Umar Sher Chattha said on Monday that the administration’s anti-smog squad has detected the presence of 255 industrial units which were operational without the control system necessary to control the release of pollutants into the air.
Mr Chattha further said that anti-smog squads have been formed in each and every tehsil of the Lahore district.
Moreover, the Punjab police, on the orders of Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rao Sardar Ali Khan, has also swung into action as it lodged 225 cases and arrested 153 people during the past couple of days.
Quoting the IGP, Punjab police spokesman in his statement released to the media, has said that those spreading pollution either through burning of the crops’ stubble or through other means deserve no mercy.
He has added that the IGP has ordered the police officials in all districts of Punjab to work with the district administration and other concerned departments to control the spread of smog.
“Punjab police chief has ordered the officials to particularly focus on Lahore and Sheikhupura regions,” the spokesman explained.
Giving more details, he has said that 2, 217 cases have been registered and 2, 294 people have been taken into custody only this year alone. “In all, 46 cases have been registered and 38 people have been held in Multan region this year for burning the crops’ stubble and tyres; 80 cases have been registered in Gujranwala region and 59 people have been arrested in connection with spreading pollution; 35 cases have been lodged and 28 people have been arrested in Faisalabad region; 13 cases have been registered and two people have been taken into custody in Sahiwal region for committing the same offences; nine cases have been registered and eight people have been arrested in Sargodha region,” the Punjab police spokesman has said, adding that similarly 15 cases have been lodged and 11 people have been held in Sheikhupura region; nine cases have been registered in Dera Ghazi Khan region; 10 cases have been registered and one person has been held in Bahawalpur region for spreading smog.
He has appealed to the people to keep an eye on their surroundings and report to the police on number: 15.