Air Quality Report 2017: Here’s How Major Pakistani Cities Fared this Year

By now, anyone living in Pakistan would be fully aware of the fact that air pollution has become a serious problem here. Health hazards due to pollution have become a yearly ritual in Pakistan with major cities like Lahore, Peshawar, and Karachi facing heavy smog in the last quarter of every year and endangering a lot of lives.

Read More: KP Health Dept Wants EPA to Monitor Air Quality on Daily Basis

Air pollution levels have risen once again after the periodic rain showers brought some respite for the residents of the country. According to the data published by Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI), (Fine Particulate Matter) PM2.5 values for Lahore in October, November, and December were 292, 330, and 191, respectively which are poor according to Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Smog Health Emergency Action Plan.

Lahore is followed by Peshawar having PM2.5 values of 81, 124, and 98, respectively in the last three months of 2017. The air quality for Islamabad with values 60, 77, and 46, and Karachi with values 32, 71, and 71, in October, November, and December, respectively, has also been regarded as “unhealthy” in the PAQI’s preliminary data results for 2017. The report said that air in the months of October, November, and December is affected by crop reside burning and temperature inversion in Punjab.

What’s Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI)?

The Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI) is a project of the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society, a registered non-profit that advocates for a healthier environment. PAQI provides community-driven air quality data to increase social awareness.

PAQI has partnered with AirVisual, a crowd-sourced air quality community, to set up low-cost, real-time monitors to capture air quality data and thereby increase social awareness.

Guide: Here’s How to Drive Safely in Smog & Avoid Accidents Like the One in India


    • If you Notice on the Map, its Peshawar and Lahore are most unhealthy places for whole year, while Karachi (Surprisingly) and Islamabad are Greenish (Safe) for the whole year except Winter (but have better values than others)

  • This data seems wrong or taken at the cleanest places in those cities. Or taken inside of a relatively clean air building.

    The actual PM 2.5 values are much higher.

    They took the data from AirVisual and you can see on their website that Lahore has two sensors that collect data,.

    Those two sensors regularly show much higher values than shown int he chart

    I also have my own device and I have seen much higher PM 2.5 values than shown in the chart.

      • Yes, these are not the Highest values. These are Daily Average values. But still, Lahore had only 2 days in 2017 when PM2.5 was in the Green category <35 is the Punjab EPA standard I think

  • i have an app which showed much higher values in Lahore than in the charts, lahore is very pulluted due to orange line work, dirt very where

    • OL has nothing to do with it. That is dust not pollution. This is due to rice burning in Indian Punjab.

    • Orange Line is probably a small portion of the problem. There are many other sources industry, traffic, crop burning, etc. Lahore has air patterns which traps all the pollution that is created in those months.

  • Another community is Plume Labs raising same awareness. It, however, yet lacks Pakistan in coverage. Use its app and request them to add major Pakistani cities under observation.

  • The chart clearly shows that there is less pollution is summer when hydel dams are working a full capacity and more polution in winter when the output of Hydel power is reduced to negligible power generation because of drop in temperature(less water inflow) and the shortfall is compensated by fossil fuels based power plants. Hence government should focus on converting electricity to clean renewable electric sources,
    P.S this concept doesn’t apply to Karachi due to maritime effect at costal region.

  • See.. that’s what I’ve been saying to my Punjagi friends here… Living in Lahore LITERALLY KILLS.. #BeachCityKhappay :)

    • Its true, its not safe at all, especially for elementary school age children. Parents and Elder brothers and sisters need to pay attention and ask the school to close the school on the worst days! or these children (and parents) will pay the price in the future

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