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LAHORE: Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi announced smart lockdown despite resistance from the meteorological department, suggesting him to avoid the announcement as the recent westerly system would fizzle out smog from Lahore, said sources.

According to the sources, the high-ups from the local Met department had shared a weather forecast with him but the Chief Minister was adamant to not only announce smart lockdown but also to write down a letter to the government of Indian Punjab for a proactive role to control smog. Accordingly, the Punjab government had announced long weekend by clubbing it with public holiday of Thursday (9th of November), followed by Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The sources said the Chief Minister was under pressure of media as well as the court of law and took a decision of imposing smart lockdown in haste while challenging the weather forecast by stating what if it proved wrong, a question that irked the departmental representatives and they preferred to keep silence.

It may be noted that the Punjab government had gathered strong criticism from the traders’ community for announcing smart lockdown and closing down markets from Friday till Sunday.

Everyone was up in their sleeves right from street hawkers to traders over the announcement and violated it by all means on Friday, followed by withdrawal of the announcement for Saturday by the provincial government.

Meanwhile, the entry of westerly system to the country at the outgoing weekend helped the city in getting rid of the menace of smog with light shower in the city and heavy downpour in the upper Punjab.

The weather activity of the last week has broken the continuity of smog in the city and is likely to continue throughout the current week. Minimum temperature has also come down to 12C that would eradicate dengue from the city, sources from the Met department added.

However, there is no rain for the next 10 days. Accordingly, smog would resurface by the coming weekend with the uplifting of dry dust, which has died down at present due to a spell of about 4 millimeter rain in the city against about 50mm in the upper part of Punjab. The city of Lahore was second on the list of most polluted cities in the world on Monday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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