I have got the opportunity to meet Mr. Mohsin Naqvi, the Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, in an informal and personal gathering, various topics came under discussion but what attracted me most was the issue of smog because it has direct impact on our health and a matter of concern for all of us. Mr. Naqvi shared some surprising insights, revealing that despite exhaustive efforts, the actual cause of smog remains elusive. Measures such as cracking down on field burning in both India and Pakistan, the closure of schools and markets, extended weekends, and a pre-scheduled longer winter break were implemented to curb smog, but to no avail. He emphasized that no scientific study actually exist to identify the root cause, leaving us reliant on assumptions based on mere observations. Now a scientific study is being conducted that will help coming elected government in overpowering smog issue.
While the initial results of the first artificial rain were promising, with a noticeable decrease in smog, the second attempt faced a setback due to no cloud to trigger the rain. The experts from the UAE came here, spent a month but cloud absence thwarted their efforts, leading to their departure without initiating artificial rain. Mr. Naqvi debunked the reliability of in-built smog meters, asserting that they offer nothing more than scientific guesses made by climate team members regarding the Air Quality Index (AQI) displayed on various webpages and apps.
In a bid to address the smog crisis, the Chief Minister proposed the innovative concept of Smog Towers (Ionizers), installation of a tower has also been initiated on experiment basis however 3-4 towers, potentially more, will be erected in Lahore, each will be 7 meters tall and cover a radius of 100-500 meters, totaling 30-40 million cubic meters of air. These towers will employ patented positive ionization technology, generating smog-free air in public spaces and reducing airborne particulate matter, ultimately enhancing air quality and garnering the support of the High-Powered Environmental Commission.
Now the question is how will the smog within these towers be purified? The solution lies in charging the smog with small positive currents, utilizing an ion electrode to release positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to dust particles, with negatively charged surface ions drawing positive ions to facilitate the cleaning process. But the problem is that Installation alone will not suffice; the key concerns revolve around the sustainability and maintenance of these towers. It becomes imperative to seek enduring solutions if we want to fight with this pressing issue, drawing inspiration from successful approaches adopted by other nations.
Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.
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