In response to the escalating smog crisis, the caretaker Punjab government has declared a temporary holiday for schools and offices in several cities. This decision is applicable to Lahore division, Gujranwala, Nankana Sahib, and Wazirabad, and will be observed only for this week.
The announcement was made by the caretaker Chief Minister (CM) Punjab, Mohsin Naqvi, during a press conference in Lahore. He stated that all schools and offices in areas where smog levels have reached alarming proportions will remain closed on November 10th, Friday.
In addition to educational institutions and offices, other sectors are also affected by this decision. Markets will remain closed on Saturday, while hotels, parks, and cinemas will observe closure on both Friday and Saturday. It should be noted that these businesses usually close on Sundays.
Punjab Announces Holiday for Schools
This decision comes in the wake of a research study conducted by the University of Chicago, which has raised significant concerns among the residents of Lahore due to the alarming levels of smog in the city. The study reveals that the city’s inhabitants are experiencing a yearly reduction in life expectancy by seven years due to the pollution. Furthermore, the report highlights the detrimental impact of smog on children, equating their exposure to current pollution levels to the equivalent of smoking 30 cigarettes daily.
The smog crisis has disrupted everyday life in the province, particularly in Lahore. The government’s decision to declare a temporary holiday is seen as a measure to protect the health and well-being of the citizens, especially children, from the harmful effects of the smog. However, it also underscores the urgent need for more sustainable solutions to combat the ongoing environmental crisis.