In View Of COVID-19 Lockdown Air Quality Needs To Be Improved

Improve Air Quality, Environmental experts and CSOs representatives have raised concern on increased air pollution due to ill planned urban development,

In View Of COVID-19 Lockdown Air Quality Needs To Be Improved

Improper environmental management, poor planning and policy implications in urban centers of Sindh mainly Karachi and Hyderabad and called for restoration of biodiversity by revisiting environment, transportation and housing policies taking Covid-19 lockdown as an opportunity.

A webinar was organized by Sindh Community Foundation (SCF), a non profit organization here on Friday.

The Head of SCF Javed Hussain shared his introductory note that ill planned urban development, poor vehicle and transportation policy and vigilance were the major factors of worst quality of air.

He said modern ICT based air quality monitoring was the need of hour to share with citizens so that they should be aware on the situation.

He further deliberated that environment was not on the agenda of the policy makers while environment should be an important concern to be addressed in the pandemic Civid-19 lockdown air quality had been improved across the world and noise pollution was also decreased. This has been witnessed in Pakistan’s main cities.

Pakistan has slipped down to second number in Global Air Quality Index in 2019 from number four, Panhwer said.

Naeem Ahmed Qureshi of National Forum on Environmental Health (NFEH) said as per Sindh Environmental Protection Agency’s report Karachi city had experienced air quality improvement and noise pollution decrease up to 40 percent during lockdown period.

He said it was a great opportunity to revisit the environment, transportation and housing policies to improve air quality in Karachi and should also expand such air quality measurement system across the province in main urban centres.

Qazi Khizir of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said it was right of every citizen to have fresh air and better environment.

During lockdown period trees have reduced emitting carbon dioxide, he said and added that people suffering from lungs ailment were feeling much better than before while breathing.

Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam’s Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar said increased traffic due to urbanization was one of the major cause of air quality deterioration and it was also affecting rural population day by day.

Sindh Environmental Protection Agency’s Irfan Abbasi said that for air quality monitoring there were only 2 centers in Karachi.

He said SEPA launched a survey at 36 locations of Karachi city during lockdown and found 20 locations had witnessed reduction in air pollution.

He further said that SEPA had planned to expand air qualitys monitoring system in other major cities of Sindh including Hyderabad and Sukkur.

Dr Sheeraz of MUET’s environment department said that air pollution was a global problem with a substantial effect on public health primarily in major cities where daily mass concentration of airborne particulate matter (APM) exceeds the permissible level set by World Health Organization.

He said that Airborne Particulate Matter (APM) comprises a complex mixture of different solid and liquid particles suspended in either for a long or short time depending upon their size and chemical composition in space and time.

He said there was a need to increase the capacity to monitor air quality putting policies and actions together.

Dr. Pinki and others also shared their views in the webinar.

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