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Pakistan

Punjab govt declares four-day holiday as smog wave worsens

  • Chief minister says Lahore now the 'worst smog-hit city' in the world
Published November 7, 2023

Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi announced on Tuesday that smog-hit districts of the province would observe a four-day holiday, Aaj News reported.

The holidays will be from Thursday (Iqbal Day) through Sunday, he said.

“Today, we will notify business holiday for offices and schools on November 10 in Lahore division, Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Kasur, Nankana Sahib districts, and Hafizabad while November 9 has already been declared a public holiday,” CM Naqvi said in a press conference.

He went on to add that restaurants and cinemas will be closed from Friday till Sunday along with all kinds of parks during the three days of the week.

However, bakeries, pharmacies, and marriage lawns will remain open.

Last week, the Lahore High Court directed the caretaker government of Punjab to impose smog emergency in the provincial metropolis due to constantly hazardous air quality index immediately.

In a related development earlier, Commissioner Lahore Muhammad Ali Randhawa said cycling lanes and parking stands should be constructed on important parts of Mall Road, Canal Bank Road, Jail Road, Main Boulevard Gulberg and Ferozepur Road.

IQ Air has reported alarming Air Quality Index (AQI) readings for Lahore. Lahore’s reading was an astounding 374, while Multan’s was a worrisome 442. Unhealthy AQI readings were also reported by Pindi Bhattian and Rawalpindi.

Sensitive groups are defined as those with an AQI between 101 and 150 as unhealthy; 151 to 200 as unhealthy; 201 to 300 as very unhealthy; and 301 to 500 as dangerous.

The chief minister said Lahore was now the “worst smog-hit city” in the world during his earlier press conference.

He mentioned that complaints of children experiencing respiratory difficulties and eye infections had been made.

Schools are already closed on Saturdays and Sundays, according to Naqvi, but if they are open on this Saturday as well, they will be asked to stay closed.

According to CM Naqvi, markets would shutter on Saturdays. “If merchants believe it is practical, they may also close on Fridays,” he added.

“This is my appeal to the people,” Naqvi said.

“Masks should be worn by everyone, but especially by children and the elderly,” the CM continued, clarifying that they were not closing factories.

Punjab chief minister blamed the deteriorating air quality on neighboring India.

Claiming that “Indians burn more crop residue than Pakistan,” he said: “Definitely, as we are on the border, the burning of crop residue has an effect on us.”

Comments

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Shoaib akram Nov 07, 2023 08:01pm
What about universities are they also closed for four days or not?
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Huzaifa Nov 07, 2023 10:44pm
9nov to 12 Nov holiday school
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Tanveer Ahmad Nov 07, 2023 11:19pm
What about banks? As a banker are we on holiday or not?
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Shahid Mehmood Nov 08, 2023 11:42am
Please share notification, it sounds like only Punjab government offices shall remain closed
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Asif Nov 09, 2023 10:17am
An underdeveloped country which cannot pay interest on its loan does not have such luxury. Instead of closing the entire divisions for 4 days , people should be urged to wear masks till the smog issue is naturally resolved.
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Rimsa Nov 09, 2023 11:49am
Wapda house lahore ma to holiday nahi hai wo to open hai
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Rimsa Nov 09, 2023 11:50am
Wapda house lahore to open hai koi holiday nahi hai Thursday ko off hai Friday ko open hai Wapda house lahore holiday kesy huwi phr
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Jaweria Arshad Nov 09, 2023 10:15pm
Zilah vehari mai ku nhi hoi yahn b buha smog hai
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Jaweria Arshad Nov 09, 2023 10:16pm
District vehari mai ku nhi hoi yahn b bhat smog hai
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