Peshawarities facing tough due to increasing level of air pollution

Jamal Safi

PESHAWAR: ‘It’s been hard to travel in the city as the level of polluting is increasing with every passing and it affecting the residents of Peshawar”.

This was said by Sohail Kareem 26 while talking to Pukhtun Nama, he said that the air pollution is damaging the health of the residents and especially for those who are struggling with the asthma disease.

Kareem added that he is a patient of asthma disease and now it’s almost impossible for him and others to travel in the provincial capital because of increasing level of pollution in the city.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2011 report, Peshawar had ranked as the sixth most polluted city in the world.

Similarly the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) 2017 report, the emission of air pollutants is directly related to consumption of petroleum products and large part of sources of air pollution has been contributed by vehicular emissions.

Report revealed that samples were collected from different parts of the city and it tested the level of five gases volume including Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitric Oxide (NO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Particulate Matter (PM2.5).

It claimed that all the five gases exceeded the National Environmental Quality Standard (NEQS) but the most alarming situation is for Particulate Matter which is 400 percent more than NEQS in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Frontier Post learnt that 24000 Rickshaws were registered with Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and unregistered are approximately 70000 Rickshaws were moving in the city on daily basis.
Similarly more than 1000 unregistered taxis and thousands other buses and vehicles were also running in the city.

While talking to Rickshaw drivers, they told that around five to seven liters are consuming every day and they admitted that it is one of the basic reasons of increasing the air pollution in the city but still they have no choice till the government providing them alternative in this regard.

Due to lack of interest of interest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government, the private companies were reluctant to invest and introducing pollution free vehicle including electric rickshaw in the provincial capital.

Peshawar based businessman Bilal Afridi claimed he invested in electric rickshaw back in 2015 with the aim to introduce pollution free vehicles and providing cheap source of travelling in Peshawar.

Afridi continued that the step was appreciated and the then local government minister inaugurated electric rickshaw scheme but later the transport and excise departments created hurdles in the project and still the dream of introducing Rickshaw was remained unsuccessful.

Afridi suggested that the government needs to encourage the investors to start the pollution free electric vehicles in the province as it will not only instrumental in decreasing the pollution level and will surely revolutionize the transport sector of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.