Air pollution in Pakistan has reached dangerous levels. So much that even courtrooms of the highest court in the land aren’t safe from it. An air pollution test revealed that the amount of hazardous pollutants in a Supreme Court courtroom stands at an astonishing 39 Particulate Matter (PM), well above 10 PM level for clean air.
The reading was checked by Venu G Advani, a petitioner, on the orders of the court. Advani had previously filed a petition against the industries responsible for spreading air pollution in Karachi.
The Supreme Court, it should be mentioned, was not pleased to hear about the situation. It was alarmed by what the citizens were breathing in, and inquired about what the authorities have done to control the situation.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar headed the three-member bench that heard the petition at the Supreme Court. The court identified that lack of forest cover in the country is one of the primary reasons why air pollution is continuously increasing.
The court asked what the federal and provincial governments have done to curb pollution? The bench wasn’t satisfied with the replies submitted by the authorities.
The apex court ordered the authorities to submit a fresh reply to the petition within 15 days. The petition states that authorities haven’t followed World Bank’s guidelines to control pollution, which has made matters worse.
The petitioner further demanded that air purifiers must be installed in schools so that children stay safe. Cars which emit a high amount of pollutants must not be allowed near these schools. He also suggested that Pakistan should make the switch towards electric cars and buses like Germany and China are doing.
The petition adds that “even a minuscule increase in the pollution index leads to a ten years decrease in the life expectancy of individuals.”
The petitioner demanded that the budget of Environmental Protection Agency must be increased for it to be effective against fighting air pollution.