Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Punjab Announces 3 Day Closure of Markets, Schools to Control Air Pollution

The looming high-level meeting chaired by Punjab’s Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi aims to address the pressing smog crisis gripping the province, particularly Lahore. With daily life significantly impacted, the Punjab Cabinet Anti-Smog Committee is set to discuss crucial decisions today.

Proposals on the table involve implementing soft smog lockdowns, potentially under Section 144 in Lahore. These measures include school closures on Friday and a broader shutdown—markets, gyms, cinemas, factories—on Saturday. Restaurants might limit operations to takeaway and delivery only. Factories not complying may face closure and substantial fines. Subsequent citywide checkpoints aim to enforce these measures.

Further strategies include curbing vehicular movement, reducing government office staff by half, and detailed briefings on smog’s severity and recommended actions from environmental and health experts.

The participation of key officials, including ministers, environmental and health experts, underscores the comprehensive approach to combat the smog crisis. This meeting signals a coordinated effort involving various sectors, prioritizing public health and environmental sustainability amidst escalating smog-related challenges in Punjab, showcasing a proactive stance in managing this critical issue.

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