Punjab Govt Decides To Close Schools, Colleges Amid Smog Crisis


Punjab govt decides to close schools, colleges amid Smog crisis

An official decision on this matter is anticipated later today.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Nov 23rd, 2023) In response to the escalating smog crisis in severely affected cities of the province, the interim Punjab government is deliberating the temporary closure of schools, colleges, and universities for a three-day period, commencing tomorrow.

An official decision on this matter is anticipated later today. Concurrently, the government is contemplating the enforcement of section 144 in Lahore, along with the establishment of police pickets across the city.

This strategic initiative follows the recent mandate issued by Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi on Sunday, making it obligatory for citizens in 10 smog-hit districts to wear face masks when venturing outside their homes. Chief Minister Naqvi emphasized that this decision was prompted by the alarming deterioration in air quality across Punjab.

In an official statement, Chief Minister Naqvi conveyed, "The Punjab Government announces a one-week mandate for wearing face masks for all citizens in smog-affected districts of Punjab. Prioritizing health is our collective responsibility. Please adhere to the guidelines for a safer community."

According to the notification shared by Naqvi, the face mask mandate will be in effect in Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Narowal, Hafizabad, Sialkot, and Mandi Bahauddin from November 20 to November 26.

Meanwhile, Lahore has once again earned the undesirable distinction of being ranked as the most polluted city globally in today's assessment (Thursday). The severity of the smog crisis necessitates these precautionary measures to safeguard public health and mitigate the environmental impact. The interim government remains committed to addressing the challenges posed by the persistent smog conditions in the region.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.