Pakistan orders closure of private offices and schools in Lahore to combat toxic smog

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Pakistan’s northern city of Lahore will extend its weekend till mid-January next year to implement measures such as a lockdown to tackle the toxic smog that has covered the country’s agricultural states during the winter season.

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Authorities in the country’s second-largest city and capital of Punjab province will close schools and offices every Monday until January 15, 2022, leading to an extended weekend in an effort to curb air pollution, which has led to a thick gray haze. The clouds are over. Covering the city and its surrounding areas.

Punjab Relief Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar, in his directive, said the efforts were aimed at acting as “a preventive and quick measure” to deal with the air quality level in Lahore and the city’s adjoining areas.


The directive stated that “the efforts were being made after continuous decline in the air quality index of Lahore city, fluctuating from satisfactory to poor level, which is likely to cause shortness of breath, respiratory tract diseases and heart disease.” “

According to IQAir, the order will be implemented only in the territorial limits of Lahore and the Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore, as the city previously topped the list of cities with the most polluted air in the world, with air quality levels reaching 300. Swiss tech company that operates AirVisual, a real-time, air quality information monitoring platform.

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The current AQI of the city has now come down to 234, which however is still in the unhealthy category. An AQI level of 100 or less is considered moderate.

Cities in Pakistan’s Punjab province and India’s northern belt, which includes the states of Punjab, northern Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and the national capital, Delhi, see pollution levels increase dramatically each year, leaving millions of citizens on both sides of the border to breathe. gasps for. ,

Like India, Pakistan’s air pollution is also the result of year-round emissions sources such as transportation, factories and construction activity.

The seasonal practice of crop burning, which turns into a visible haze, mixed with haze as the winter wind approaches, is another existential problem for which regional governments have failed to provide farmers with sustainable alternatives.

The Supreme Court of India, just days ago, launched a scathing attack on the federal government and the state government of Delhi, saying the short-term measures taken by Lahore to shut down schools and offices in Delhi were “too ad hoc”.

“This is the national capital. Look at the signals we are giving to the world,” said a judge sitting on a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday.


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