Lahore - Environment lawyer Ahmad Rafay Alam said the recently launched ‘Greenpeace NO2 Report in Geneva revealed maximum hotspots increased nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions beyond permissible limits in India and only one such hotspot indicated in Lahore.

During a presentation on prevailing smog situation in Islamabad on Friday, he said that the analysis of new satellite data from June 1 to August 31 reveals the world’s largest NO2 air pollution hotspots across six continents in the most detail to date, and points the finger at coal and transport as the two principal sources of emissions.

He said that the data provided was not updated but still it gives an outlook of the pollution level across the border and inside the boundary which calls for all stakeholders to take well planned steps to mitigate the risk.

According to the report, he said, “NO2 is a dangerous pollutant in and of itself and also contributes to the formation of PM2.5 and Ozone, two of the most dangerous forms of air pollution. In the EU alone, cleaning up NO2 pollution could save up to 75,000 lives per year”.

He said that trans-boundary crop residue burning cannot only be claimed major contributor of Smog however, indigenous industrial and massive car emission and power plant particularly coal fired plants’ releases and others are also responsible.

He mentioned that the ambiance of Delhi and Lahore is the same as both have densely polluted air quality. “Dr Arvind from Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi told him at the conference that during 30 years of his service a huge change has taken place in the ratio of lungs cancer patients in Delhi. Dr Arvind showed a picture of 20 years old boy whose lungs were diagnosed cancer due to Smog,” he said

Dr Arvind, he said informed that it is impossible for young boy of 20 age to get lungs cancer as it earlier used to appear in smokers of elder age and it was 1:7 among smoker lungs cancer patients in Delhi and others which is now 1:1 meaning every lungs cancer patients are both smoker and Smog affectees.

Ahmad said that such grim realities shook the authorities in India who took abrupt decisions to counter the issue. “India has closed one coal fired gas power plant in Delhi out of 20 which was a first policy based decision countering Smog issue,” he added.