To combat the severe air pollution engulfing Lahore, the Punjab government is considering a novel approach—artificial rain. This initiative comes as a response to the dense smog that has blanketed the city, causing significant health concerns and disrupting daily life.
Lahore has been grappling with hazardous levels of air pollution. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that the Lahore High Court mandated the closure of all schools and colleges in Punjab on Saturdays, following the failure of provincial authorities to address the smog issue effectively.
The caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, announced the closure of schools and offices across the province for Saturday, November 18, in a press conference held earlier this week. This decision aligns with the court’s directive and aims to reduce the exposure of citizens to toxic air.
The proposed artificial rain project was discussed in a meeting attended by key figures, including Provincial Environment Minister Bilal Afzal, Education Minister Mansoor Qadir, Secretary Environment Rashid Kamalur Rehman, representatives from the Environment Protection Department, SPARCO, and various universities.
The participants deliberated on short, medium, and long-term strategies to tackle the smog crisis in Lahore, which has repeatedly topped the charts as the world’s most polluted city throughout the month.
Plans are underway to conduct the artificial rain experiment on November 28 or 29, coinciding with a forecast of cloudy weather, which would be conducive to such an endeavor. A working group is set to be established to finalize the details of the artificial rain procedure.
This initiative will mark the first instance of artificial rain being used in Pakistan to mitigate air pollution. The government’s proactive stance reflects the urgency of addressing the public health emergency caused by the smog. Residents have been advised to remain indoors and wear masks to protect themselves, as many are experiencing breathing difficulties due to the poor air quality.