In Lahore, rain is grown with salt to save the city from pollution

It's day but feels like night, the little light filtering through the blanket of smog that traps it Lahore, a huge Pakistani city with a population of 11 million people Of people who were held captive for weeks A cloud of pollution This forces anyone who has to move on foot to wear a mask, and those who drive travel with headlights on even in broad daylight.

It was known in the past as the Green City of Bilad, and they called it the “City of Gardens.” today is Most polluted in Pakistan It is regularly ranked among the major cities with the worst air quality in the world. So much so that, according to recent research from the University of Chicago, The smog could have reduced the life expectancy of its residents by seven years. But this winter, the situation has become more dire, if possible, to the point where the Air Quality Index (IQA) has risen above 300 points, on a scale of 1 to 500 – the ideal level which the World Health Organization claims would be 5. Sixty times less.

– There are those who are not deterred by the smog and exercise in one of the (few) remaining green areas (AFP)

The local authorities were therefore forced to take immediate measures and once again – and this actually happened for four days at the beginning of December – imposed traffic restrictions and He ordered the closure of schools, public parks and supermarkets. And Since the rain that would clean the air does not come on its own, they decide to “plant” it.: Last week they took it out of the ground A small plane loaded with regular table salt Which, once above the clouds, was discharged mixed with water. They argue that this method works if the clouds are sufficiently laden with moisture, because the salt will help the droplets form. On the other hand, scientists are somewhat skeptical: the same technique has already been used in China, without success. But in Lahore, it rained, and with it the air quality index dropped to 189. But the rain only lasted a few minutes, and after two days the effect disappeared. Even the regional representative of the Ministry of Environment had to admit that yes, a few drops were formed, but that The bathroom was “bad” because the clouds were “not of good quality.”.

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– At one of the stalls, paratha is prepared, a typical cake eaten for breakfast (Ap)

So Lahore has once again become one of the most polluted capitals in South Asia, even surpassing its counterparts in neighboring India (however, the record goes to New Delhi, where the Al-Qaeda in Iraq index in November exceeded 500 points). Citizens began to complain again, because the measures harmed the local economy (a loss of $35 million, according to the source). Washington Post) without having any significant effect. Because it was the same authorities who contributed to transforming this giant city from a “city of gardens” into a “city of smog.” In recent decades, 75% of green spaces have disappeared, after they were devoured by construction work. Entire parks have been replaced by shopping malls and highways. Among the residents who have now resigned, he predicts this between Within a few years, Lahore will now become “unlivable”..


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