Rains help end smoggy weather in central Pakistan

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By Muhammad Luqman
The first wet spell of winter season that lashed most of upper parts of Pakistan on Tuesday, has reduced the intensity of the toxic smog that had prevailed over the central parts of the country since last week of October.
“ The downpour has helped bring down level of dust particles and other pollutants in the atmosphere. The visibility level has increased significantly bringing back traffic on highways and restoring flight operations,” says Muhammad Riaz, a meteorologist.
The first rain of the winter has generally been welcomed by people of Lahore who visited parks to enjoy the sunny weather after a break of two weeks.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department, more rain and thunderstorm with snowfall on hills is expected in the next 12 hours at scattered places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Islamabad, upper Punjab including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Sargodha divisions, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. While, dense foggy and smoggy conditions are likely to decrease in plain areas of Punjab.
The first spell of winter rain is indeed a relief for farmers and the broader agriculture sector, as the prevailing dry spell and smog was harmful for the growth of vegetables, fodder and all citrus fruits including oranges, which are in ripening stage on thousands of hectares across the country.
The current rain spell could add a positive impact on the seasonal pulses cultivated over thousands of hectares of land across the country and fruit orchards as well as boost their production, according to agriculture experts.
The rains will be most beneficial for wheat, which is major cash crop of the season and a vital source of staple food to fulfil the domestic food requirements as well as for exporting to fetch a reasonable foreign exchange reserves for the country.

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