Smog has been terrifying Pakistanis for days now. While citizens are continuously advised to stay indoors and minimize any excursion, nobody really knew the cause of the smog.
Some blamed it on factories, others on Diwali festivities in India. Turns out that India is behind the smog but Diwali festivities are not the real culprit.
NASA came out with satellite images this morning that identify the cause of the smog as Indian farmers erratically burning the leftover straw of their crops in Indian Punjab and Haryana state of India, close to Lahore border.
The places marked with red are involved in burning crops. As indicated clearly in the map, the majority of the crop burning happened in India, particularly areas centered around Jalandhar. The leftover straw being around 32 million tons, very well explains the magnitude of the smoke blanket and the areas it spread to.
The smoke from burning crops mixes with fog to make ‘smog’, which is making its way to Lahore with the winds and is also heavily affecting Delhi and neighboring regions.
I know what you all are thinking! But, No! Those poor farmers were not plotting against Pakistanis. The poor peasants actually could not afford any proper means to dispose of the leftover straw, other than burning it. A farmer told New York Times that one of the most widely available brands of seeders, which does not require crop burning, costs around Rs.1,99,000. They can’t afford to buy them even if the government agrees to pay half of the cost.
The smog could linger on for days and will only dissipate with rain, according to the Pakistan Met Department. Too bad for the Lahoris, for the rain is not expected in Lahore for at least two weeks.
Countless cases of skin allergies, eye irritations, and breathing difficulties, caused by the smog, have been reported in Lahore and vicinity areas.
We are fully aware of how much Lahoris love to hang outdoors and roam around the city but it cannot be stressed enough that health comes first. So all you Lahoris! Please remain indoors as much as possible, until this smog clears away and stay safe!
- smog-in-lahore-2: businessinsider