KARACHI - Despite launching several awareness campaigns to control the air pollution in the major cities of the country especially in Karachi, the metropolitan is still confronting this problem, The Nation learnt on Saturday. The government agencies, several institutions and law enforcers have been failed to control the air pollution in the urban parts of the country, while lack of interest by the local government and other organisations towards controlling the smoke emitting from the vehicles, especially public transport and two-stroke vehicles. In different times, the government departments as well as the environment protection agencies had launched several massive campaigns against air pollution and smoke-emitting vehicles, but failed to achieve their goals. Meanwhile, Qazi Ali Athar, advocate of Sindh High Court (SHC) and Environmental Law Attorney, moved the SHC against the air and noise pollution in the metropolitan, while his petition is under process in the court. He mentioned the statistics, in his petition, by submitting that approximately 2,08,861 public vehicles are operating in the City. The vehicles comprised of 34,959 rickshaws, 3,665 buses, 10,700 mini buses, 2,324 contract careers, 4,321 mini coaches, 49,396 pick-up vehicles, 49,396 taxis, while 45,972 private vehicles are operating across the City. These vehicles used to release 1,75,935 tons of different toxic gases. The diesel engines and two-stroke vehicles are the main cause of air pollution. There is no solution for these diesel automobiles because they emit a huge amount of smoke and noise, as they carry massive loads, which is the major factor for the smoke emission. Only those vehicles emit smoke and produce noise whose engines are almost out of order and are running on low quality fuel and spare parts, whereas most of them are the models of 70s. According to the report, two-stroke vehicles contribute a major share of the motor vehicles. These vehicles account for about 60 per cent of the motor vehicle fleet and contribute significantly to air pollution, resulting in adverse health affects, particularly for urban dwellers. They are major contributors to particulate matter (PM) and hydrocarbon emissions, besides visible smoke. PM emissions from a typical 2-stroke engine used in South Asia are an order of higher magnitude as compared to a 4-stroke engine of equivalent size. Poor vehicle maintenance, misuse of lubricants, and adulteration of gasoline exacerbate emissions from these vehicles. Emissions from 2-stroke gasoline engines can be reduced by using the correct type and quantity of lubricants, improving vehicle maintenance and the quality of gasoline. For new vehicles, emissions can be reduced by redesigning 2-stroke engines to decrease scavenging losses, and installing catalytic converters to reduce tailpipe emissions. Some of these measures can be achieved through regulation, while others require mass education of drivers, vehicle owners, regulators, and the public at large. Other technical options include replacing the 2-stroke engine by 4-stroke gasoline engine and switching to cleaner alternative fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, and electricity. Another report said that the level of air pollution in Pakistans two largest cities; Karachi and Lahore, is estimated to be 20 times higher than World Health Organisation standards, and it is rising continuously. As industrial sector has been expanded, factories are emitting more and more toxic effluents into the air. In other developing countries, the number of vehicles in Pakistan has been massively increased in recent years from 680,000 in 1980 to 3.8 million in 1998. Although the number of motor vehicles (1 per 143 people) in Pakistan is still well below that of the US (1 per 1.3 people). The 1992 National Conservation Strategy Report claims that the average Pakistani vehicle emits 25 times as much carbon dioxide as the average US vehicle, as well as 20 times as many hydrocarbons and more than 3.5 times as many nitrous oxides in grams per kilometre. Many Pakistani environmentalists say that poor fuel quality is also to blame for the countrys serious air pollution problems. Fuel consumption rose by 188 per cent in Pakistan from 1980 to 1998. An estimated 550 metric tons per year of lead emissions are generated by vehicles in Pakistan burning poor-quality fuel, resultantly creating air pollution adding about $500 million per year in healthcare costs.