Pakistan has been ranked among the countries that are confronted with alarming level of air pollution, which is on the rise due to non-application of environmental laws. The density of toxic gases has gone up abnormally i.e. 2.5 ppm. The problem is assuming dangerous proportion in the metropolitan cities with population of 10 million or above. Lahore has been placed at second position after New Delhi in micro-pollution index. This year in Punjab in winter, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Gujranwala had remained under the grip of thick smog with extremely low visibility due deteriorated air quality.
Unbridled urbanization, unregulated vehicular traffic and use of high sulphur contents fuel in vehicles, presence of steel rerolling mills and bricks kilns are the major sources of toxic gas emission in the air. Coal fired thermal power plants of crude technology are aggravating the air pollution. The authorities responsible for urban planning and development and municipal services are not fulfilling their mandated job of solid waste disposal at dumping sites far away from cities’ populated areas. The industries such as cement, steel, plastic and sugar are also adding to air pollution. Environmental protection agencies are helpless to implement environment laws and penalize the violators. Tree plantations on large scale under ‘Plant for Pakistan’ can achieve the desired results only when laws of environmental protection are also pout in practice.