The Sindh interim government is intensifying its efforts to combat the deteriorating air quality in Karachi, primarily caused by smog.
The Chief Minister’s House announced that caretaker CM Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar advocates for citizens to wear face masks to respond to the air pollution crisis immediately. Schools and educational institutions are also instructed to ensure students wear face masks to safeguard their health against smog-related illnesses.
Beyond urging mask usage, the chief minister has called for a shift from car-centric infrastructure to more sustainable options like public transportation and pedestrian-friendly alternatives. The initiative aligns with the alarming air pollution levels reported in Karachi, where the concentration of PM 2.5 has reached “very unhealthy” levels, making the city the third worst globally for air quality.
The situation echoes the severe smog crisis in Punjab, particularly in Lahore, which has led to emergency measures and considerations for artificial rain to alleviate pollution.
In Punjab, the government’s response to the smog crisis includes the closure of educational institutions and the proposal of a Rs350 million project for artificial rain in Lahore. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified local industries, including furnaces using substandard fuel, as major contributors to air pollution.
To address these issues, caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi announced plans to distribute electric bikes to 10,000 students on subsidy, reducing reliance on regular motorcycles that exacerbate air pollution. Additionally, government employees are set to receive e-bikes on lease, further promoting eco-friendly transportation.