LAHORE: The Punjab government is initiating plans for artificial rain in the provincial capital at the end of this month, specifically on a Friday, in response to the deteriorating smog conditions in Lahore.
This groundbreaking effort marks the country’s first attempt at such a strategy.
A meeting, chaired by Provincial Environment Minister Bilal Afzal and Education Minister Mansoor Qadir, focused on assessing short, medium, and long-term measures to combat smog in the city.
Secretary Environment Rashid Kamalur Rehman, along with representatives from the Environment Protection Department, SPARCO, and several universities, actively participated in the discussion.
Discussions on employing artificial rainfall to address smog concerns concluded with a decision to prepare for artificial rain around November 28 or 29, considering the possibility of cloudy weather during that period.
The provincial minister emphasized the need to establish a team and working group dedicated to orchestrating artificial rain, potentially involving aircraft for its execution.
Bilal Afzal stressed the importance of cloud presence and highlighted the need for the working group to thoroughly examine all aspects of artificial rain. He mentioned that the final recommendations of the working group would be submitted to the chief minister for approval.
Multiple Punjab districts, including Lahore, Jhang, Hafizabad, Khanewal, Nankana, Bahawalnagar, and Sheikhupura, are grappling with severe air pollution issues.
Concurrently, the Lahore High Court has directed authorities to close all schools and colleges in smog-affected districts on November 18. Additionally, the court mandated the government to implement a two-day work-from-home policy per week.