The National Forum for Environment and Health (NFEH) has said that this is a right time for relevant authorities to rethink on the urban sprawl, the mass transportation and the industrial needs of the Karachi to control harmful air pollution during lock down.
President NFEH Naeem Qureshi said in a press statement that Karachi was one of the major industrial and commercial centers all over the world where lockdown orders had brought instant fall in air pollution.
He said that due to completely ban on public transportation, minimal use of private vehicles, and a restricted industrial activity had seen a decline in air pollution in Karachi.
He said the relevant authorities accountable for mitigating the perennial environmental degradation should check out the current circumstance.
He further said that the relevant authorities should not miss this opportunity as they should do a real-time monitoring of the fall in air pollution levels in the city with a massive decrease in the public transportation and the industrial activities due to the lockdown regime in place.
He told that the real-time monitoring of the air pollution data should used in research studies by the scientists whose results would help the relevant authorities in mitigating the environmental issue.
He further told that such benefits for our environment could only b accomplished when we sit together presently to do a proper check of our needs to do the industrial and transportation activities for the benefit of the society in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.
President informed that the city required proper infrastructures for the public transportation and the industrial requirements but these systems should have proper mechanisms to protect the environment.
Current situation once again teaches us the lesson we have long forgotten that environmental laws, rules, and regulations of the state should be imposed in a uniform and arbitrary manner to ease the issue of environmental degradation.
He said that while roads today carry fewer vehicles and limited number of industries doing their operations in Karachi, we have to think now as how to massively improve our traveling and industrial practices to protect the environment that is constantly being damaged due to harmful emissions.
NFEH Adviser Saquib Ejaz Hussain said the air pollution was one of the world’s leading health dangers. Recent releases from Nasa on the air quality before the Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan shows that the region was all covered with pollutants but it thinned out after China’s attempt to deal with the situation. This leads to the inference that the aerosols in the polluted air were the carrier of the corona virus.
He added that Sepa being a regulator is authorized to conduct research and share results with public to improve the understanding of how exposure to air pollution enhances the threat for respiratory virus infections and who, if anyone, is most susceptible.