Combatting soaring smog: Lahore High Court mandates early closure of markets in Lahore

market to close at 10 pm due to rising smog in Lahore

LAHORE: In a decisive move to combat the escalating smog crisis in Lahore, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a significant directive.

Justice Shahid Karim, presiding over the LHC, delivered a written order in response to petitions filed by citizens, including Haroon Farooq.

The court, mandating action, directed the Lahore capital city police officer to enforce the suspension of all commercial market activities by 10 pm.

In the written order, Justice Karim specified that, in order to address the smog issue, the chief minister’s secretary should instruct the CCPO to take immediate measures.

Additionally, the court said that the Lahore administration and the government should promptly issue a notification concerning commercial activities.

To further tackle the smog crisis, the court proposed the issuance of a notification for private institutions, including banks, to implement a two-day work-from-home policy per week.

The environment director general received instructions to seal industrial units previously de-sealed due to pollution.

Furthermore, the court called for action against environment department officials responsible for the unauthorised de-sealing of these units.

As the court seeks accountability, it has requested a comprehensive report on the sealing of factories contributing to air pollution and exacerbating smog for the upcoming hearing.

In a related development, caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi announced the closure of all educational institutions, including schools and colleges, in 10 districts of Punjab on Fridays and Saturdays.

This decision aims to address the deteriorating air quality attributed to the onset and prevalence of smog in Lahore and other districts of Punjab.

Moreover, Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Justice Maqbool Baqar (retd) has urged the public in Karachi to use face masks.

The Chief Minister, through a statement released by the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, emphasised the importance of face masks in protecting individuals from health issues associated with smog.

Furthermore, the Chief Minister advocated for a shift away from car-centric infrastructure, urging stakeholders to invest in public transport and pedestrian-friendly alternatives.

Karachi currently ranks as the third city with the worst air quality index in the world, according to IQ Air.

This development unfolds against the backdrop of severe smog affecting various parts of the country due to escalating pollution levels.

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