Islamabad choking on exhausts

ISLAMABAD: Vehicular exhausts, containing a range of toxic substances, are suffocating Islamabad, according to health experts and environmentalists.

What Islooites ought to be concerned about is that once these substances, suspended in the air, are breathed in by humans the bloodstream transports the toxins to the body’s major organs.

They say the most obvious health impact of the potentially dangerous vehicle emissions – carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and tiny suspended particles – is on the respiratory system.

Experts have reasons to believe that vehicle emissions are major contributors to, and responsible for, heart illnesses and premature deaths.

Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Director General Asif S. Khan said the real time data obtained from the new, highly-sophisticated air quality check stations showed higher suspended particulate matter in air over the capital.

‘Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) in air is one of the most serious concerns. PM2.5 is so fine that once inhaled, is settles below lungs and can mix with blood. Not only does it reduce oxygen carrying capacity of lungs but also causes blood clotting,’ he said.

The average level of particulate matter recorded in Islamabad was 75 microgram per cubic metre, way higher than the safe limit of 35 microgram per cubic metre.

The picture was worst in Lahore where the average level of particulate matter was 122 microgram per cubic metre, the highest among the country’s five major cities – Peshawar 79.1 microgram per cubic metre, Quetta 47 microgram per cubic metre and Karachi better than both Islamabad and Lahore with average level of 53 microgram per cubic metre.

‘What we need is an alternative route for the more than 90,000 vehicles that pass through Islamabad on Kashmir Highway because the Army does not allow heavy traffic through the Rawalpindi cantonment,’ he said.

‘It is as serious as heart attack because this traffic emits 1,050kg or more than one ton of particulate matter into the federal capital’s atmosphere in a single day.’

He said under the Pakistan Clean Air Programme, a multi-pronged approach to bring down air pollution, sulphur in diesel had been brought down from one percent to 0.6 per cent.

‘By December 2011, Euro II complaint diesel will be available in Pakistan with 0.05 per cent sulphur content.’

‘There is a positive response from Pakistan Automotive Association and the Engineering Development Board, and notifications have been issued by the Ministry of Petroleum giving six months lead time to all vehicle manufacturers for Euro II compliance by July 2012,’ the Pak-EPA chief said.

He said more than two million vehicles were converted to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The government was already introducing 8,000 CNG buses – 4,000 CNG buses for Lahore alone of which 50 were already on road.

‘And two-stroke vehicles will be eliminated without creating unemployment using the Green Fund. We are also placing a ban on registration of new two-stroke transport,’ he said.

‘Metals, dust and aerosols mixed in the air we breathe cause harm to health and all concerned offices need to wear team jackets to combat air pollution,’ Mr Khan emphasised.

2 responses to “Islamabad choking on exhausts

  1. Quite shocking! I’ve been inhaling all these particles for about 8 years in Lahore. I guess this probably means that my life has been reduced by a certain amount due to incomplete supply of oxygen to my body 😦

  2. Early life
    Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was born on 12 December 1948 (1948-12-12) (age 61) in Queeta, Pakistan. Chaudhry belongs to the Ghorewaha clan of Muslim Rajputs. His father migrated to and permanently settled in Quetta, Balochistan, where Chaudhry grew up.

    Career in Law
    Chaudhry has a Bachelors in Arts and Bachelors in Law (LLB) from Jamshoro-Sindh. He joined the bar in 1974. Later, he was enrolled as Advocate of the High Court in 1976 and as an Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1985. In 1989 he was appointed as Advocate General, Balochistan. He was elevated as Additional Judge, Balochistan High Court on 6 November 1990 until 21 April 1999.[6]. On April 22, 1999 he became Chief Justice of Balochistan High Court. Besides remaining as Judge of High Court, he discharged duties as Banking Judge, Judge Special Court for Speedy Trials, Judge Customs Appellate Courts as well as Company Judge. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry also remained President of High Court Bar Association, Quetta, and was elected twice as Member of the Bar Council. In 1992 he was appointed as Chairman of Balochistan Local Council Election Authority and thereafter for second term in 1998. He also worked as Chairman, Provincial Review Board for the province of Balochistan and was twice appointed as Chairman of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, Balochistan.

    On February 4, 2000 he was nominated Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. On June 30, 2005 he became the Chief Justice of Pakistan. At present, Justice Iftikhar is also functioning as Chairman, Enrollment Committee of Pakistan Bar Council and as Chairman, Supreme Court Building Committee

    Do not forget to mention that:

    1. Chaudhry Sahab was the person who legitimised the Martial Law of General pervez Musharraf as Judge Supreme Court.

    2. He was the respected person who took oath under PCO.

    3. He was the person who served under Nawab Akbar Bugti as Advocate general balochistan, but he had no courage to condle his brutal murder, because then he had good relations with General Musharraf.

    4. After his restoration by the order of Supreme Court in July 2007, he himself was heading the bench who was hearing case against NRO. MNohtarma Benazir Bhutto was signatory to the NRO, and in that case she was the main accused. But when she was martyred, and Mr. Ch. was released from the house arrest by the order of PM Gilani, he went to condole the death of the main accused of the NRO, to the co accused, Mr. zardari, of the same case.

    Character of a person builds in his childhood and boyhood. Old habbits seldom die. God forbid, if another martial law comes, see the real character of the person. Our Judges have a track record of invoking Law of Necessity any time sir.
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