ISLAMABAD: Due to excessive vehicular emissions in Islamabad, the particulate matter 2.5 microns (particle pollution) has reached at the highest ratio of 41.63 micrograms per metre cube.
While speaking to media, Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director General Farzana Altaf Shah said that vehicular emissions comprise of 43% of the total air pollution in the country; whereas the federal capital has been impacted the most.
She named industrial and automobile emissions as the two main sources for air pollution.
“The air quality recorded during Ramadan month and summer vacations in the capital has ideal level of declined pollutants, but with the reopening of schools and colleges, it has again attained dangerous level of pollutants with their smoke emitting buses and vans,” she added.
“Our teams, equipped with proper gadgets, visit the institutions at random to check emissions of vehicular fleet,” she added.
She said that all the buses running on the roads use noncompliant diesel fuel that contains high ratio of hazardous sulphur dioxide.
“The people, especially motorcyclists, should wear pollution masks, some of them have inbuilt air filters, which stop dust particles entering mouths and nostrils,” he said.
“What to talk of other departments when even the Capital Development Authority(CDA) and the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation(IMC), which were responsible to keep the capital clean and pollution-free, themselves have large fleets of garbage collecting vehicles, buses, van and jeeps, emitting clouds of dark smoke on the city roads,” a citizen told media.
According to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) spokesperson Dr Khawaja Waseem, the ambient pollution causes allergy, infection and irritation in the respiratory tract, which could develop cancerous health complications.