ISLAMABAD                 -          The irresponsible construction work of the Faisal Avenue G-7 and G-8 underpass was exacerbating air pollution in the federal capital.

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data revealed increased ratio of toxic air pollutant particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5).

An EPA official told APP that the air quality in the vicinity was being monitored through the agency’s online system, which showed increased ratio of pollutants in the air.

“An EPA team has also visited the project site where no dust control system is put in place by the contractor executing the project. It is mandatory as per the environmental impact assessment report submitted to the EPA,” she added.

She said during such road constructions and mega infrastructure projects air quality was obviously reported as bad and polluted.

The daily ambient air quality report by EPA stated that PM2.5 was 92.23 microgrammes per metre cube (mg/ m³). The pollution level comprising particulate matter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) was above the permissible ratio of 35 micrograms per cubic meter (mg/m³), one of the highest ratio noticed in the federal capital.  World Health Organization (WHO) in its reports of 2015 claimed air pollution to cause huge number of premature deaths. PM 2.5 had been found hazardous pollutant which could penetrate into human blood through lungs cells.

The report mentioned that the 24-hour average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were noticed below the permissible limits of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), whereas, concentration of PM2.5 was within safe limit of NEQS.

The daily ambient air quality report of the federal capital by Pakistan-EPA stated the 24-hour average ratio of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were 30 mg/m³ and 44.21 mg/m³ respectively against the respective National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) of 80 mg/m³ and 120mg/m³. 

Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Director Sanitation Sardar Khan Zimir said it was the responsibility of the contractor to manage dust and transplanting trees from the construction site.