Climate Change Ministry of Pakistan has set up 10 mobile Ambient Air Quality Stations (AAQS) for monitoring air quality in Islamabad and other major cities of the country.
The step was taken considering the rising air pollution in Pakistan. According to the officials, 7 fixed and 3 mobile AAQ Stations have been set up by the Ministry of Climate Change under the Environmental Monitoring System (EMS) project.
Environmental Monitoring System Project
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has partnered with the government for the EMS project, under which Islamabad and the provincial capitals Peshawar and Quetta will receive one fixed AAQ station each.
Lahore and Karachi, being larger than other cities, got two stations each.
The fixed stations don’t seem enough for this purpose, so three mobile stations will be sauntering in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi as well. The stations are up to date with the latest technology with the capability to monitor ambient air around-the-clock.
A Decentralized Working Model
A PC-IV has been submitted to Planning and Development Division as well as Establishment Division for converting the project posts from development to non-development.
According to the management, all the provinces have hired the staff necessary for running the Project Concept-I (PC-I) and the concerned authorities have started work on a provincial level.
Better Late Than Never
The AAQ stations were definitely the need of the hour for the country. Especially, as the air pollution in the country is rising at an unmatched speed. The recent smog incident, which covered most of Punjab and KPK, was an evidence of the growing problem.
For an effective air quality survey, Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) is now vigilant in the industrial sectors of the capital such as Sector I-9, I-10, and the Kahuta Industrial Triangle.
Winters are getting worse every year in the country with fog/smog becoming an everyday thing. The air quality survey will be collecting samples on a need-basis so the quality of ambient air in the said areas can be better assessed.