Saturday, Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport canceled seven international and domestic flights amid concerns of smog. As per reports, the flights were also canceled due to a shortage of aircraft.
According to details, Lahore Airport canceled AirBlue’s two-way flight from Lahore to Karachi 412/413, PIA’s two-way flight from Lahore to Gilgit 609/610, AirBlue’s two-way flight from Lahore to Karachi 407/408, and PIA’s flight from Skardu to Lahore 454.
Moreover, Turkish Airlines received directives to delay its flight from Lahore to Istanbul, and from Istanbul to Lahore. Additionally, PIA’s flight from Lahore to Riyadh also faced a delay.
To clarify, a thin fog around the Lahore Airport on Saturday morning reduced the visibility. Therefore, authorities alerted pilots of PIA, Airblue, and Turkish Airlines to observe caution while landing or taking off from the runway.
Important to note, Lahore’s smog situation raised serious concerns. Last month, Lahore became the world’s most polluted city. Platform IQAir said that Lahore now stands at the top of its polluted cities ranking – with an air quality index of 203 on the US AQI scale. Increasing smog and particle-laden air sickened thousands of people with respiratory and other illnesses. The smog forced many to stay at home on particularly dirty days.
VIDEO: Lahore is engulfed in thick smog. The Pakistani city is consistently ranked one of the world's worst for air pollution pic.twitter.com/sZIcMGDAXf
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 18, 2021
Punjab government takes action
To combat the smog situation, the Punjab government issued strict measures. The provincial government directed private sector companies in Lahore to operate on a 50% attendance basis till further notice. Moreover, polluters would also be fined.
The court also sought a traffic plan and directed authorities to set up an emergency helpline that citizens could call to complain about traffic issues.
The directive, issued by Punjab Relief Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar, aims to act “as a preventive and speedy remedy” to ensure “public safety, conserve lives and preempt and mitigate the imminent threat of smog in the province of Punjab.”
However, it appears as if the government measures did have a positive impact. According to the latest reports, Lahore went down from the “most polluted city” to the “second most polluted city” in the world.