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Pakistani cities have always been on the list of the most polluted cities, sometimes even at the top of the list. Now the country’s larger cities almost never have blue skies. The nation’s first ever National Clean Air Policy (NCAP) to combat the growing menace of air pollution has been approved by the government, which has finally decided to tackle this issue immediately. The data presented at the meeting showed how essential it is to have a well thought out strategy for making Pakistan healthier. At least 235,000 people died prematurely as a result of air pollution in 2019. Overall, this natural issue has reduced the normal future by something like 2.7 percent.
Schools in Punjab are forced to close every year due to the persistent smog, which threatens the lives of students. It is also true that prolonged exposure to air pollution increases the likelihood of children developing serious health problems. Not only does their cognitive development suffer, but they are also at risk of developing lifelong lung diseases.
The plan, which will be reviewed every five years and updated if necessary, will be developed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change. All this is acceptable. In any case, currently experts will have to carefully screen how well the arrangement is implemented and on the off chance that experts do not prevail in terms of moving against individuals exposed to air contamination. In Karachi’s Kemari area, at least 16 children and three adults have been reported to have died of poisonous gas inhalation recently.
Although the Environmental Protection Agency has ruled out the possibility of inhaling toxic gases, many experts believe that the majority of air pollution comes from fumes from unregulated factories in residential areas. Currently, authorities have identified five sectors as responsible for air pollution: agriculture, transport, industry, residential, and waste management. Some interventions in these areas are believed to have the potential to significantly reduce pollution.
It is essential to understand that the government can only make improvements if it includes individuals in its efforts. In order to keep an eye on industries and other sectors that contribute to pollution, strict regulations should be enforced, especially those related to industries. In Punjab, stubble burning often leads to dangerous levels of air pollution.
Farmers should be educated through awareness campaigns, and an alternative should be available to quickly reduce activities that damage the environment. It is hoped that this national policy will contribute to the development of a cleaner, healthier Pakistan, where citizens will have access to clean, unpolluted air. All plans must be carried out strictly, and the policy should not be filed away to rot as other well-intentioned initiatives in the country do. In addition, it is necessary to guarantee that the policy is not disrupted.
Sometimes a policy is abandoned as soon as a new government comes into power. Now is the time for all stakeholders to come together and focus on a problem that could soon turn into a crisis. The right to breathe safe, clean air is the bare minimum Pakistanis have.