Air pollution in, more or less, all our big cities has become a great nuisance. Ill-planned urbanization, not road worthy vehicles on the road, lack of awareness and despicably weak institutional capabilities for air pollution management and such other local factors and actors have played havoc with air quality in our cities and towns.

Last month, I have had an opportunity to visit my home district Larkano, one of the most inexpensive cities of fruit, fish, vegetables and other daily usable commodities in the world, where I could see and experience that air pollution in the city has become an increasingly serious issue. Dirt and dust nuisance has made lives of the people miserable and in different mohallas even difficult to breath. According to one public health consultant from Larkano, “People of all age groups, in particular, elderly people, pregnant women and children have started suffering from lung damage, heart disease, strokes and cancer due to poor air quality and heaps of dirt and dust clouds hovering over the city because the roads, lanes and drains which are being dug and the construction of different buildings which never is completed in well in time in this city and people suffer.”

I often think that let the poor people of this country be sitting and using the contaminated soil or water, inhaling dust or soil, suffering from ingestion of food, skin diseases or increased acute respiratory disease but it would never ever the be topmost concern of our ruling elite to devise ways and means to control air pollution and improve the quality of air to save their lives.


Islamabad, February 2.