Punjab notifies closure of schools, gyms, and markets on November 18 due to smog

smog holiday in Lahore, Gujranwala, Narowal

LAHORE: In response to worsening smog conditions, both government and private schools across 10 districts in Punjab will be closed on Saturday, November 18.

Alongside educational institutions, markets, gyms, shops, and cinemas in Lahore will also observe closure until 3 pm, as outlined in the latest government notification.

This precautionary measure is specifically targeted at areas most severely affected by smog, encompassing Lahore, Nankana, Sheikhupura, Kasur, and Gujranwala.

The notification further extends the closure to Sialkot, Gujrat, Narowal, Hafizabad, and Mandi Bahauddin on the same day.

Steps announced by Punjab govt to curb smog

The Punjab caretaker cabinet’s anti-smog committee has announced a series of proactive steps to combat the smog crisis.

Notable measures include the procurement of electric motorcycles for government officials.

The cabinet has also enforced a comprehensive ban on the purchase of motorcycles using fossil fuels, inaugurated the province’s first environmental laboratory, and mandated the closure of educational institutions and offices on Saturday.

In the coming month, the cabinet plans to facilitate the free registration of Chingchi rickshaws, followed by a crackdown on unregistered and sub-standard fuel-selling Chingchi rickshaws.

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Additionally, farmers will receive modern machinery to dispose of crop residues, contributing to long-term efforts to mitigate environmental pollution.

A robust police crackdown on vehicles emitting smoke is underway, resulting in 419,000 issued challans and the closure of 80,000 smoke-emitting vehicles.

Despite these efforts, the likelihood of increased smog persists due to prevailing wind directions, with no immediate prospects of rain.

The Punjab government is adopting eco-friendly initiatives to counter smog, including restrictions on the entry of vehicles lacking fitness certificates and route permits on motorways and highways.

These measures aim to alleviate the impact of smog and promote a healthier environment for residents.

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