The schools in Lahore will remain closed for additional two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly due to the rising situation of smog in the city, said a notification issued on Wednesday.
The notification, issued by the School Education Department, stated that the decision to close the schools weekly was made in line with the orders given by the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The decision is applied to all the private and government schools of District Lahore.
"In compliance with the directions of Hon'ble Lahore High Court, Lahore, in Writ Petition No. 227807/ 2018 vide order dated 02-12-2022, it is notified that owing to prevailing SMOG condition, all Public & Private Schools in District Lahore shall remain closed on every Friday & Saturday, in addition to the weekly holiday on Sunday till further orders," stated the notification.
It also noted that the chief executive officer of the District Education Authority (DEA), Lahore and the concerned heads shall manage the distribution of homework to the students during the closure of schools.
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A day earlier, the Lahore High Court sought a notification from the Punjab government tomorrow (Wednesday) for the closure of schools for three days weekly.
The directives were issued by the court during the hearing of a case related to pollution and smog in Lahore and other Punjab cities.
During the hearing, the court ordered the Punjab government's lawyer to submit a notification regarding the closure of schools tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi announced to impose environmental emergency in Lahore and other cities to deal with the situation of smog.
The chief minister said that smog has been declared disastrous and ordered to effectively implement the plan to reduce the smog.
"Action should be taken to control those factors that are causing smog," said CM Elahi, adding that failure to implement the standard operating procedure (SOPs) to reduce smog will not be tolerated.
The chief minister also announced a ban on stubble burning, saying that action will be taken against those caught burning the crops residue.
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CM Elahi said that action will also be taken against the vehicles emitting smoke. He added that the anti-smog squad will constantly check the smoke-emitting vehicles in the city.
"The anti-smog squad will also check the vehicles at the entrance of the Lahore city," said the chief minister. He added that the farmers will be provided with a modern harvester called "Hepper Seed" to dispose of crop residues.
The chief minister said he has issued directives to transfer all brick kilns to zigzag technology. He also ordered that the environment, agriculture, industries and transport departments should conduct an anti-smog campaign continuously for three months.