The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered to keep all educational institutions closed on all Saturdays until the end of January, owing to the relentless heavy smog.
The court directed the deputy commissioner and other government institutions to issue notifications to shut down schools, colleges, and universities on Saturdays after consultations with the member judicial water commission.
Justice Shahid Karim issued a written order on the petitions filed for dealing with heavy smog engulfing Lahore and other parts of Punjab.
The Punjab government is taking steps to enable working from home two days a week, the written order stated.
The court also suspended part of the government’s notification regarding the closure of gyms. It explained that this notification was issued under the provisions related to the coronavirus and can no longer be applied.
The court order also directed the environment department to take departmental action against officers who did not take action against smog.
Further hearing on the appeals for the eradication of smog will be held on November 22.
Most polluted city in the world
Meanwhile, the air quality index of Lahore shot up to worrying levels again, taking the city back to the top spot as the world’s most polluted city.
The AQI of Lahore around Monday noon was recorded at 393.
The administration of the city has appealed to citizens to avoid unnecessary travelling. Medical experts have advised people to wear masks if and when they leave their homes.
To deal with smog, the civic authorities are also spraying water at various locations in the city.
On Sunday, caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi had made wearing masks mandatory across the province for a week.
In a notification issued on Sunday afternoon, Naqvi said that that decision was taken for all smog-affected districts of Punjab in view of the deteriorating air quality.
In response to deteriorating Air Quality, the Punjab Government announces a 1-week mandate for wearing of face masks for all citizens in smog effected districts of Punjab. Prioritising health is our collective responsibility. Please adhere to the guidelines for a safer community. pic.twitter.com/qe3jBdUjvY— Mohsin Naqvi (@MohsinnaqviC42) November 19, 2023
"Prioritising health is our collective responsibility. Please adhere to the guidelines for a safer community,” he urged the people in a post on his X account.