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Punjab smog holiday: Here is what's closed and open

Punjab smog holiday: Here is what’s closed and open

طوبیٰ Tooba 8 months ago 0 4

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Commuters make their way amid heavy smog along a road, in Lahore. — Online/File
Commuters make their way amid heavy smog along a road, in Lahore. — Online/File
  • Schools, offices to remain shut as govt imposes anti-smog measures.
  • Markets to remain closed, traders requested to close shops on Friday.
  • The provincial capital is one of the worst smog-hit cities in the world.

The Punjab government on Tuesday announced a four-day holiday in areas witnessing dangerously high smog levels across the province.

The four-day closure will be enforced from November 9 (Thursday) to November 12 (Sunday) in Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib  Gujranwala and Hafizabad districts of the province.

Here’s what you need to know about what will remain closed during the four-day “smog holiday” as the government expedites its efforts to tackle the prevailing smog issue.

During the four-day closure, private offices along with educational institutions including schools will remain closed in the aforementioned areas

Meanwhile, schools operating on Saturday will be asked to “remain shut,” Naqvi said during the Lahore presser.

Restaurants, cinemas, gyms and parks will also remain closed.

Additionally, markets will also remain shut on Saturday. However, traders have been given the discretion to keep the markets closed on Friday if they find it “feasible”.

However, marriage halls, bakeries, pharmacies, and public transport will be allowed to operate during this time period.

The government has also issued a smog advisory urging the public to “limit outdoor activities, wear masks when going outside, and drink water to keep the respiratory system hydrated.”

Poor Air Quality Index (AQI) readings are expected during the coming week in central and south Punjab, with hazardous smog levels in the cities of Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, and Faisalabad. Including surrounding areas [including] Sargodha, DG Khan, and Sahiwal divisions,” the advisory read.

Lahore hit by severe smog

The provincial capital has been one of the worst smog-hit cities in the world with a 374 AQI reading.

The exuberantly high smog levels are not limited to Lahore as provinces as other cities including Multan, Pindi Bhattian and Rawalpindi’s AQI readings stood at 442, 257 and 175, respectively.

It is to be noted that an AQI of 101 to 150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151 to 200 is unhealthy, 201 to 300 is very unhealthy, and 301 to 500 is hazardous.

Last week, the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the administration to impose a citywide emergency in the provincial capital amid high smog levels.

The court had also directed the authorities to seal factories contributing to air pollution while subjecting the reopening of such factories to the submission of affidavits by factory owners — reassuring of no further violations of environmental laws.

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