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World Pakistan: The anti-pollution brigade makes the police in Lahore

12:25  25 november  2021
12:25  25 november  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Pakistan: la brigade anti-pollution fait la police dans les usines de Lahore © AFP

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 Pakistan , near the border with the India , in order to fight the air impur that suffocates every year at this period the city and its 11 million inhabitants.

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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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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) ( AFP ) - © 2021 AFP

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usr: 1
This is interesting!