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  Now, Pakistan blames India for its pollution

Now, Pakistan blames India for its pollution

Published : Nov 6, 2016, 1:37 am IST
Updated : Nov 6, 2016, 1:37 am IST

Pollution in India is the main cause of smog in Pakistan’s Punjab province, experts in Islamabad said.

Pollution in India is the main cause of smog in Pakistan’s Punjab province, experts in Islamabad said.

According to officials of Research and Development division of Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), smog in Pakistan was a trans-boundary phenomenon. “In India, hundreds of thousands of farmers set fire to paddy stubble in their fields. If you see air quality map recently released by the Nasa, a vast area of India alongside Pakistan’s border can be seen covered in red dots. This pollution is causing smog in Pakistan,” an official said.

 

He said that due to fewer rains in autumn season, temperature falls down at night but rises in the morning. He added that due to heat, the wind moves from east to west.

According to Nasa, the triangle between Indian states Amritsar, Jalandhar and Bhatinda is covered in red indicating very bad air quality or high level of pollution. This area is adjacent to Lahore.

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s website, the level of small particles in the air called PM reached 688 micrograms per cubic meter in one area of Delhi. This is more than 10 times the healthy limit set by the Indian government.

Reports suggest that farmers burn an estimated 32 million tonnes of the leftover straw to make room for planting their winter wheat crop.

 

This is not the first time Pakistani scientists have blamed India for trans-boundary pollution. Similar claims were made in 2007.

“If it is a trans-boundary effect, why after 2007, there were no complaints and why this year smog is declared worst by the PMD itself,” said another official, adding the absence of rain was the reason behind the smog in the country.

Long spells of dry weather aggravate the trans-boundary effect.

Location: Pakistan, Islamabad