The Punjab government is planning to combat the upcoming smog season after last year’s spell. Air pollution has become one of the most imminent threats in the region due to the lack of awareness regarding the effects of climate change. The basic aim of the government has been to reduce crop burning, emissions from vehicles and the industry, along with garbage. If the new government is able to successfully implement the policies put forth by the last government, we might actually witness better circumstances in the winter this year.

The government has ample amount of time to understand what causes the problem and the ways to combat it as well. The first step involves working on the part of the government, which needs to utilise its machinery to reduce the effects of climate change in the region. We have witnessed adverse circumstances due to the inaction of the government, which included thousands of lives lost due to smog in the provinces over the years. The numbers of respiratory diseases have increased in the region and this is primarily because of the lack of ecological concerns in the developmental policies of the authorities. If the pace of plantation is not matched with the pace of development, the result will always be smog.

At the same time, there is a dire need to educate the masses regarding smog. The lack of information results in people walking about in smog without realising the consequences and mistaking it as fog. A lot can just be achieved if the masses are educated. Areas which can help them are learning to assess air quality via mobile phone applications, minimising their outdoor activities in cases of smog, and the use of smog masks can help in protection against respiratory diseases.

The government must be commended for taking up the issue of environmental pollution seriously, however, the execution part will not only be tricky but also difficult to implement.