LHC issues landmark order to protect citizens from smog

Schools in Lahore to remain closed for 3 days a week: Private offices employees to work from home for two days a week: Commercial markets should close at 10pm: All markets shut on Sundays: Factories to be monitored through drones

By: News Desk
Published: 10:51 AM, 7 Dec, 2022
LHC issues landmark order to protect citizens from smog
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Lahore High Court (LHC) has issued a landmark order to protect citizens of Lahore from the worst effects of smog, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.

As per orders issued by LHC, all employees of private organizations will work from home for two days a week and all government and private schools will remain closed for three days a week.

As per the notification submitted to LHC on Wednesday, schools will remain closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays till the issuance of the next orders. 

The court also directed the public and private schools to extend winter vacations till the second week.

The court ordered that all commercial markets should close at 10 PM and no market should be open on Sunday.

The court also directed the DC Lahore to use drones to monitor the factories causing pollution in the environment.

On the other hand, the Punjab government has imposed an environmental emergency in Lahore and declared the city calamity-hit.

The air quality levels of Lahore have been deteriorating to hazardous levels. 

According to AFP, hospitals in Lahore have warned of an influx of patients suffering from breathing problems as well as eye and throat irritation as a result of the grey blanket of smog that engulfs the city.

Air quality in the city of more than 11 million is consistently among the world's worst, and on Wednesday its pollutant levels topped a regularly updated global index run by the Swiss monitoring platform IQAir.

The head of the province's teachers' association warned cutting school days was "not a viable solution".

"Staying at home is not necessarily going to protect students from the smog any more than coming to school. At least by coming to school the students will not be affected academically," Rana Liaqat Ali, the secretary general of the Punjab Teachers Union, told AFP.

"Smog, Covid-19 and dengue are all now part of our daily reality. We need to learn to live with them and not isolate ourselves."

Despite court orders over the years instructing officials to come down hard on those responsible for the emissions, Pakistan's authorities are ill-equipped to deal with the mammoth problem.

Air quality has worsened in recent years across parts of Pakistan and adjacent northern India as industrial pollutants, smoke from seasonal crop burn-off and colder winter temperatures coalesce into toxic smog.

Delhi is consistently ranked as the world's worst capital for air quality, sometimes reaching more than 30 times the maximum limit recommended by the World Health Organization.

Reporters: Malik Ashraf, Junaid Riaz