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Saturday, July 20, 2024  
13 Muharram 1446  

Schools, markets, offices to remain open in Lahore today

Implementation of Wednesday’s off will be applicable after notification, says govt spokesperson
In this file photo, an aerial shot shows people commute along a street amid heavy smoggy conditions in Lahore on November 18, 2021. AFP
In this file photo, an aerial shot shows people commute along a street amid heavy smoggy conditions in Lahore on November 18, 2021. AFP

All schools, markets, and offices would remain open on Wednesday (today) in Lahore, the caretaker government spokesperson said on Tuesday, as the provincial capital fights air pollution that exacerbates when noxious smog blankets the city during winter.

In a statement, the spokesperson said that the decision to have a public holiday on Wednesday would be applicable after a notification by the interim Punjab government.

Advice for working from home would be presented to the government, said the statement.

“We had an insightful discussion with a panel of experts regarding Smog reduction. Numerous proposals were put forth during our meeting but no decisions have been finalized at this point,” said the provincial government in a post on X, erstwhile Twitter.

“All proposals will be thoroughly examined and deliberated upon during the upcoming cabinet meeting. Because of the recent rain, the current air quality index (AQI) is under control. Yet, the future course of action to maintain and improve AQI will be determined after the cabinet meeting.

Lahore was ranked 12 on the list of the countries having the worst air quality in the entire world.

According to iqair.com, a website that tracks air quality around the world, the city’s AQI (air quality index) reading at 6:12pm on Tuesday was 94.

The Air Quality Life Index in one of its reports said that residents in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan were expected to lose about five years of their lives on average if the current high levels of air pollution persist.

Earlier in the day, the Lahore commissioner imposed Section 144 – under which the government places a ban on any activity and gathering of people – in the city to prevent smog and contain pollution across the division.

The district administration, traffic police, Lahore Development Authority, and other departments have been directed to initiate legal action against the violators of the rules.

Strict action would be taken against those who keep construction materials outside the under-construction buildings, and driving trolleys without covering in the capital city of Punjab, according to the notification.

Additionally, the burning of municipal waste, polythene bags, solid waste, rubber, and leather products has also been banned across the division.

More to follow…

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