Burgeoning traffic major cause of pollution in Swat

Burgeoning traffic major cause of pollution in Swat

Organisation: Dawn Media Group (Pakistan)

Publication Date: 01/16/2017


Size of team/newsroom:small


With increase of automobile in one of the scenic and tourist resorts known as the Swat valley, rapid increase have been recorded in the air related diseases. However, neither the civil administration nor any other organization bothered to look into the alarming situation. The rapid increase in the air pollution related diseases is due to the vehicular emission of different gases in the air which is due to lack of emission control technologies in the area. Though the issue was getting more alarming neither government institutions nor NGOs and Media focused at it. I undertook the matter and started visiting related different offices in the district Swat and gathered primary data on the vehicles, vehicles emission, diseases and its other impacts. Luckily, after publishing the story in the Newspaper, the government came in action and formed a committee to tackle the air pollution. Since then steps are being taken to minimize it by taking action against the vehicles emitting pollutant gases causing air pollution.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

At first, nobody realized the causes of the air pollution. It was the first story in the region which worked on the causes and its impacts. So I must say that it was the first and only work done on the issue which not only sensitized the general public but also forced the government institutions to take steps to control the issue. Presently, the police, district administration and Vehicle Emission Testing Stations (VITS) are actively monitoring vehicles and take action against those whose vehicle violates the rule.

Technologies used for this project:

Laptop, Health software system of the district health department, software system of the district transport department, Microsoft Excel, Camera. This was really a challenging issue to collect data from government departments about number of vehicles, emission ratio and get number of people suffering in air-pollution related diseases. However, I visited and met the officials several times to motivate them to get the exact data. After motivating them, I sit with their computer staff and collected the related data.
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