Smog Crisis Prompts Closure of Educational Institutes in 10 Punjab Districts

The caretaker government in Punjab has taken sweeping measures in response to escalating smog levels, declaring the closure of all public and private educational institutes, as well as shops, gyms, and cinemas in ten districts. The affected areas include Lahore, Gujranwala, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujrat, Sialkot, Narowal, Hafizabad, and Mandi Bahuddin. This decision comes as a response to the concerning air quality index (AQI) in these districts.

Additionally, the Lahore High Court has reinforced its work-from-home policy for offices twice a week, emphasizing the need for environmental precautions. The court has consistently urged provincial authorities to promote cycling as a measure to combat smog. The government’s notification also enforces “restricted movement” in the ten districts facing the highest AQI.

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Minister Bilal Afzal attributes 45% of the smog crisis to the transport sector, shedding light on a major contributor. To address the situation, the provincial government had previously declared four holidays. This comprehensive response underscores the severity of the smog crisis, prompting a multifaceted approach to protect public health and the environment in the affected regions.

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