According to experts, the people of Karachi are on the top list among those who get sick from polluted air

Karachi has the highest number of patients due to air pollution and poor air quality.  Photo: File

Karachi has the highest number of patients due to air pollution and poor air quality. Photo: File

Karachi: Pakistani doctors, experts and other social workers have said that the air quality in Karachi city has become very disastrous due to air pollution and this is the reason why most patients affected by air pollution in the whole country are present in Karachi city. .

Addressing a discussion under the Pakistan Medical Association and Karachi Citizen Forum, experts from various walks of life have described air pollution and its destruction as extremely dangerous and declared it an urgent emergency.

Convenor of Karachi Citizens Forum Hon’ble Nargis Rehman said that today’s press conference is on the important topic of ‘Karachi’s toxic atmosphere and increasing medical problems’. He expressed his concern over the air pollution in Pakistan and especially in Karachi.

After that, co-convenor of Karachi Citizens Forum, Dr. SM Qaisar Sajjad termed Karachi’s polluted air as ‘slow poisoning’ for the citizens. He described carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ground-level ozone as dangerous. It causes diseases of the heart, brain, nerves and eyes. It is now the case that a large number of patients in hospitals are affected by air pollution.

Dr. Qaiser said that the emission of lead from vehicles is very harmful from children to adults. In particular, lead is affecting our children’s memory and IQ. Even air pollution is causing age-related stunting in children. He said that due to air pollution, the average life expectancy of the residents of Karachi has decreased by three years and we do not realize it.

In Karachi, our natural defense system is being affected by the terrible traffic, overcrowding of factories, garbage burning, dust and construction process smoke, dirt, dust and other types of air pollution and this is the reason why the virus attacks them. The practical proof of this is that many of our loved ones who were affected by Kovid-19 in Karachi were completely healthy but they lost their lives at the hands of this epidemic.

In Karachi, the problem of load shedding is at the top and generators are burning from house to house, which creates noise as well as harmful fumes from burning fuel and they circulate in a building.

Solar panels, not coal plants

Environmentalist Wafaza Yasir Hussain, who installed several sensors to measure pollution in Karachi, said that we are asking China for help in coal factories and instead we should try to install solar panels and battery factories. Solar energy is still a cheap and clean source of energy. However, there are government restrictions on the import of these two goods.

Describing Karachi as a poison bowl, he said that PM 2.5 particles, which are commonly found in traffic smoke, are particularly harmful.

Dr. Yasir said that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) is required to submit its report on the environmental condition in the province every year, while despite all the funds, the last report was submitted in 2014 and a new report has been published so far. could not come

He said that we have installed 25 to 30 sensors to measure air pollution and polluted air in Karachi city and not even one sensor has been installed by the government. Yasir Hussain said that half of Karachi’s pollution comes from traffic. He said that Bandar Road, Tibet Centre, Gulshan Chowrangi, Ayesha Manzil are the worst areas in Karachi in terms of air quality because there is an unusual traffic pressure.

He said that there is an urgent need for a mass transit program involving electric buses in the city as electric vehicles, buses and motorcycles have to be promoted. He said that Malera Expressway was the last green space in Karachi where there is greenery and now residential colonies will be built there and thus the greenery there will disappear quickly.

He said that mangroves (timber) trees are being cut indiscriminately in the vicinity of Karachi and barbecues are being made from their charcoal which is used by the shops there.

Participation of the residents of Karachi is essential in the Karachi Master Plan

Urban planning expert and researcher, Mr. Muhammad Tawheed said that another master plan of Karachi is currently being prepared. But all its details are not coming out and it is necessary to include the representatives of the urban population in the plans related to the future of the city of Karachi.

He also expressed concern over solid waste management in Karachi as the dumping sites are not up to standards. On the other hand, medical and hospital waste is not being disposed of properly except in a few hospitals.

According to Muhammad Tawheed, by burning the garbage, all its germs are flying to the houses and seriously affecting the people sitting at home.

He made a surprising revelation that there is also a garbage burning mafia in Karachi who do not allow the staff to pick up garbage in return for bribes. Then the mafia digs out their work items from the garbage and burns the leftovers.

Similarly, there is a dire need to implement environment-friendly laws and regulations in industrial areas in Karachi. He mentioned a strange smell coming from a place in Korangi Industrial Area which was coming from a chemical which clearly means that hazardous chemicals are not being properly disposed of in the industrial process.

He said that buildings are being constructed in many places in the city and its cement, dust and other pollution are affecting the people. Similarly, the houses of 2200 families have been demolished in Mujahid Colony. After which debris, mud and stones have been strewn there and people have complained of respiratory diseases on a large scale.

He said that a grant of crores of rupees is given annually for the same EPA laboratory, but this laboratory is still not functional and urgent action is needed.

Former Chief Justice of Sindh High Court, Justice Retired Shaiq Usmani said that there is a need to conduct a vigorous campaign to make people aware of air pollution and its dire consequences. Because it is a matter of our coming generations and future. He called a clean environment as a basic human right.

Justice Osmani urged the press and mass media to play their full role in this regard.

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