Punjab’s four-day ‘smog closure’: what you need to know

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Punjab’s four-day ‘smog closure’: what you need to know. In multiple cities across the province, the caretaker government of Punjab announced Tuesday that it will close the roads for the next four days to curb exuberantly high levels of smog.

As per the schedule, Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, and Nankana Sahib districts as well as Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Imran Khan, and other districts will be closed from October 9 (Thursday) to October 12 (Sunday).

In response to the prevailing smog situation, the Punjab government has decided to issue a ‘smog holiday’ as part of the measures taken to tackle it. Here’s what you need to know about what will be shut down during this time.

It is expected that private offices, as well as schools and other educational institutions will remain closed in those areas for the four days of the closure

During the press conference held in Lahore today, Naqvi announced that schools operating on Saturday will have to “remain closed.”

It is also expected that restaurants, cinemas, gyms, and parks will be closed during this time.

Also, there will be no markets on Saturday, as well as the rest of the week. On the other hand, traders have been given the option of keeping the markets closed on Friday on the off chance that they find it “feasible”.

There will be no restrictions on the operation of wedding halls, bakeries, pharmacies, or public transportation during the period of this emergency.

There has also been an advisory issued by the government regarding smog, which enjoins the public to keep their respiratory systems hydrated by wearing masks when going outside, and limiting outdoor activities.

There is an expectation of poor Air Quality Index (AQI) readings throughout central and south Punjab during the coming week. Areas such as Gujranwala, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, and Faisalabad are expected to experience hazardous levels of smog. As well as the surrounding areas [such as] Sahiwal, Sargodha, and DG Khan divisions, as well as areas around those divisions,” the advisory stated.

Smog hits Lahore

With a reading of 374 on the Air Quality Index, the provincial capital has found itself among the worst-hit cities worldwide for smog.

Multan, Pindi Bhattian, and Rawalpindi, which had AQI readings at 442, 257, and 175, respectively, were all suffering from exuberantly high levels of smog, which were not limited to Lahore alone.

There are certain groups of people who are considered sensitive to air pollution, and an AQI of 101 to 150 is considered unhealthy for them, 151 to 200 is considered unhealthy, 201 to 300 is considered very unhealthy, and 301 to 500 is considered hazardous.

A high level of smog was causing high levels of anxiety in Lahore city last week as the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered that a city-wide emergency be declared in the provincial capital.

In addition to that, the court had also ordered the authorities to seal factories that are contributing to air pollution, requiring factory owners to submit affidavits as a condition for reopening these factories, as a reassurance that there would no longer be environmental violations.

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