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LAHORE: In the light of prevailing smog conditions, it has been decided that educational institutions in Punjab will not observe a holiday on Wednesday this week.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi, here on Monday. The meeting focused on anti-smog measures and its current pattern. Based on an improvement in the air quality index, it was unanimously agreed that Wednesday will not be declared a holiday.

The CM issued directives to the Inspector General of Police and Secretary Transport for a continued and effective crackdown on vehicles emitting smoke. He emphasized the need for relentless action against brick kilns and factories that contribute to smog. Factories emitting excessive smoke and engaged in the burning of tires will face immediate closure.

The CM instructed commissioners and deputy commissioners to take robust measures against the burning of crop residues. Swift action will also be taken against those found selling substandard fuel. District administrations were further instructed to ensure continuous watering of roads. Additionally, covering of sand and gravel, along with regular water sprinkling, will be mandatory for construction activities, he added.

Moreover, the CM has accorded in-principle approval for the establishment of the first government cancer hospital in Lahore. During his visit to Manawan Hospital, the CM personally inspected the designated site for the cancer hospital and the existing hospital building. Furthermore, he assessed an adjacent building and has assigned the task of converting Manawan Hospital into a specialized cancer treatment facility.

The CM emphasized that Punjab, with a population of 140 million, lacks a state-of-the-art cancer hospital, leaving many in a struggle for proper cancer care.

He underscored the pressing need for a high-calibre government-operated cancer hospital to cater to the people of Punjab. He also directed swift decisions regarding the design of the cancer hospital and other relevant matters.

Meanwhile, in a surprise visit to Central Jail Kot Lakhpat, the CM visited the male and female prisoners’ barracks and engaged with them to understand their concerns and challenges.

The CM took part in the ongoing Milad celebration in Barrack No. 9, offering prayers alongside the incarcerated individuals. He directed for free eye surgeries upon the prisoners’ request, and instructed the establishment of a specialized medical camp within the jail premises to cater to their healthcare needs.

During their interaction, the prisoners shared details of their cases with the CM. Responding decisively, he directed the Inspector General of Police, Advocate General Punjab, and CCPO Lahore to conduct a personal review of these cases. Moved by the accounts of elderly women prisoners, he reassured them that every effort would be made to uphold justice in their cases.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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