Indian farmers reason behind smog in Pakistan: Officials

Islamabad: Stubbles burnt by the Indian farmers after wheat harvest caused thick blanket of fog in east Punjab province of Pakistan, said officials.

Officials with the Environment Protection Department of Punjab province told Xinhua news agency on Saturday night that smog is causing various diseases among residents of Punjab and the provincial government is taking measures to control the situation.

Environment Protection Department Minister Zakia Shah Nawaz Khan said that the smog has been engulfing the province for two weeks and is feared to continue for the coming week or so.

She added that the smoke of the stubbles from the Indian farms moved at a velocity of 7 to 8 km per hour and travelled to Punjab, resulting in dense fog in the province.

Experts said that the total Air Quality Index in provincial capital of Lahore is 357 whereas the maximum limit should be around 100, adding the highest level is feared to exceed 500 in the coming days.

A total of 197 FIRs have been filed against violators and 65 people have been arrested due to stubble burning and solid waste burning.