In a major announcement, the Punjab government has announced an extra weekly holiday for all private and government schools.
As part of the effort to mitigate smog in the provincial capital, Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Ali Randhawa decided to close schools every Wednesday “until further notice”.
Additionally, the school staff has been ordered to work from home.
Furthermore, markets, banks, private institutions, clubs, and hotels are also expected to remain closed. According to the announcement, Lahore will witness a full shutdown every Wednesday.
Last week, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had directed to halt all new construction projects for 6 months, from October to March, due to the concerning level of air pollution.
In contrast to the media reports earlier, government of Punjab has stated that no decisions have been finalized at this point. “We had an insightful discussions with a panel of experts regarding SMOG reduction,” it said in statement.
The experts made various proposals, which will be thoroughly examined “and deliberated upon during the upcoming Cabinet meeting.” The government of Punjab added that the Air Quality Index (AQI) is under control due to the recent rain. However, the plan for maintaining and improving the AQI will be determined after the Cabinet meeting.