World Pakistan: The anti-pollution brigade makes the police in Lahore
Schools, plants close as Indian capital is smothered by smog
NEW DELHI (AP) — Schools were closed indefinitely and some coal-based power plants shut down as the smog-shrouded Indian capital and neighboring states invoked harsh measures Wednesday to combat worsening air pollution after an order from the federal environment ministry. The measures come as India’s top court is deliberating whether New Delhi should go into a lockdown as a blanket of thick, gray smog continued to envelope the city, particularly in the mornings.
L A brigade anti-pollution in the lahore stained streets, looking for factories that cut their harmful smoke in the sky of The Pakistani city, one of the most polluted in the world.
In the van, an armed escort protects the six team members, armed for the list of factories they plan to inspect today.
On the lookout, they seek in the gray sky the toxic smoke volutes that will lead them to the factories violating environmental laws.
"We just have to follow the smoke, we do not even need the lists," Ali Ijaz, the Environment Manager responsible for the initiative, which must last one month until mid-December.
In all, five anti-pollution teams were put in place by the authorities of Lahore, the big city of the east of the, near the border with the , in order to fight the air impur that suffocates every year at this period the city and its 11 million inhabitants.
With U.S. at Odds, Islamic Republics Iran and Pakistan Forge New Ties
"Iran and Pakistan have many common goals in the region and the Islamic world, from peace and stability in the region, including Afghanistan," Iran embassy in Pakistan spokesperson Hamaneh Karimi-Kia told Newsweek.Iran and Pakistan have a history of cooperating on practical terms even when they have been at odds. Today, they're establishing more common ground in the absence of U.S. troops stationed between them. And beyond the issue in Afghanistan, they've found additional ways of working together.
The brigades plan to visit 300 industrial sites accused of being among the worst polluters of the city.
Air quality in India and Pakistan has deteriorated in recent years, with winter pollution generated by poor fuel oil fumes and agricultural burns.
Although Lahore is regularly ranked among the most polluted cities in the world, the authorities took time to react, preferring to make responsibility to the Great Rival, India, or question the veracity of the data.
This year, pollution arrived in advance, covering the city of stagnant, greyish and dirty air. Last week, USman Buzdar, the leader of the province of Punjab, spoke of "calamity".Hazardous work
On the way for a mission, a team goes to a neighborhood from where several factories reject suspicious fumes.
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Smog covered the Indian city of New Delhi where air particles were seven times higher than what the World Health Organization deemed as safe levels.Authorities closed schools indefinitely and closed some coal-burning plants Wednesday to help curb the crisis. The city has more than 20 million people and is heavily reliant on coal, which accounts for 70 percent of the country's power.
Video: The Pakistani town of Lahore wrapped in a pollution fog (AFP)
"It is clear that these factories use poor quality fuel. These gases are unsustainable for people who suffer Respiratory problems ", denounces the team leader, Sajid Ali.
The air is opaque gray. And even with a mask it is difficult to breathe. Mountains of waste litters bordering these factories.
has its arrival in the first factory, the brigade guess that the suspicious stoves have just been extinguished. They are still blushed by heat. Just forged steel bars lay on the ground, cooling.
Team members inquire about the oil and type of machines used. They discover that the plant does not have the apparatus for removing the industrial pollutants from the exhaust.
The brigade quickly orders the closure of the plant and the workers are evacuated under the attentive eye of the armed escort.
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This time, the evacuation takes place in the calm, but it is not always the case, explains Mr. Ijaz, whose employees have already been the target of fire.
Although the team is supported by the administrative authorities, a lawyer threatens to justice and both camps opt for an amicable agreement. Access to machines is closed, but the plant remains open.'compromise'
This is one of the many challenges facing the authorities.
"Many factory owners are trying to put pressure on the brigade, using their political influence and relationships," deplores one of the team members, under anonymity.
"This complicates our task (...) We are forced to compromise," he admits.
The authorities can not afford to close factories more than a few days, not to dwell on the workers, who are paid for the day.
and then there is the immensity of the task.
"Thousands of industrial sites reject fumes and six or even 12 brigades can not be enough," says Rafay Alam, a lawyer specializing in environmental and activist law, who denounces a measurement simply "cosmetics".
Mr. Ijaz himself is not very optimistic. Although it could have all the city mills close, and interrupt the car traffic, it would only "reduce the intensity of the pollution fog, but would not eliminate it."
"We will face (with this problem) for a very long time," he predicts.
25/11/2021 08:33:04 - Lahore (Pakistan) () - © 2021 AFP
Portland among US cities adding funds to police departments .
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Night after night, hundreds of people marched the streets of Oregon's largest city, demanding racial justice after the murder of George Floyd by a white officer. Among the rallying cries were “defund the police” — a call for elected officials to reallocate some law enforcement funding elsewhere. In June 2020, the Portland City Council and the mayor answered by cutting millions from the police budget. Now, a year and a halfAmong the rallying cries were “defund the police” — a call for elected officials to reallocate some law enforcement funding elsewhere. In June 2020, the Portland City Council and the mayor answered by cutting millions from the police budget.