BHALWAL/SAMBRIAL -  Pollutants-carrying smog that has engulfed various parts of Punjab has not only disrupted routine life but also causing throat infection, sore eyes and breathing ailments.

A survey conducted by the correspondents reveals that the tehsil Bhalwal and elsewhere have been blanketed in dense smog for the last five days. The citizens are of the view that ropy roads, lots of dust and smoke-emitting vehicles are the reason behind the situation.

They said that commuters, workers, shopkeepers and people belonging to all walks of life are facing several traffic and health problems owing to smog as no precautionary measure by the government have been taken so far.

They said that the smog has decreased the visibility on roads which also have caused many accidents during the past five days.

Bhalwal Sarafa Market President Muhammad Aslam Soni lashes out at India, saying the immense straw burning there has caused dense smog in Pakistani Punjab which is affecting the people’s respiratory systems, causing eye-burning and skin allergies.

Renowned physician Dr Kamran Bhatti said that smog is highly toxic which is increasing respiratory-related health problems and causing irritation in eyes among the citizens. He said that smog, sometimes, also threatens the lives of patients with respiratory ailments.

In Sambrial, people termed air pollution a newfangled challenging issue for Pakistan after terrorism.

They said that poor implementation of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 is ruining environment in country. As per SRO 1062(1)2010 in exercise of the powers conferred under clause (C) of sub-section (1) of section 6 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, national environment quality standards were established for ambient air.

But unfortunately these NEQS have never been enforced in true spirit by the Environment Department since its promulgation, they regretted, adding the NEQS defined the limits of parameters regarding air pollutants including Nitrogen Oxides which is the reason of smog.

It is also caused by the smoke being emitted by industries and vehicles, combustion of woods, coal and fossil oils.

Smog has covered several areas of Punjab and spreading to more and more areas. They said the smog, loaded with pollutants, is damaging public health as it is causing throat, nose and eyes irritation, adding the worst health suffering of smog is headache and chest congestion.

They said that people of tehsil Sambrial are worried, especially about health of their school-going children due to prevailing air-pollution.