LAHORE: The Punjab caretaker government has imposed “environmental and health emergency” in Lahore and two other divisions for four days — Nov 9 to 12 — to mitigate the impact of smog.

Also, the Lahore High Court on Tuesday ruled that show-cause notices would be issued to the chief secretary and respective deputy commissioner in case of stubble burning.

According to a notification, all markets, shopp­ing malls, restaurants, cinemas, gymnasiums, schools, and offices (public and private) shall remain closed for four days (Nov 9 to 12) in Lahore, Gujranwala and Hafizabad divisions to combat smog.

The notification further says there shall be limited movement of people to and from these areas by public and private transport.

“Pharmacies, medical fac­ilities, petrol pumps, tan­doors, bakeries, grocery, dairy, vegetable and meat shops will remain opened,” the notification stated.

Addressing a presser caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said Section 144 had been imposed in these three divisions.

“There is a public holiday on coming Thursday and Friday has also been decided as a holiday. Meanwhile, Saturday and Sunday are weekly holidays,” he said.

He said the government was not going to shut factories, adding that Lahore badly needed environmental rest as prevention from smog is imperative.

“Children and elderly people are facing asthma and eye diseases,” he said and added that decision had be­en taken in the light of experts’ recommendations during a meeting of the cabinet committee for environment/smog.

Zulqernain Tahir and Wajih Ahmad Sheikh contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2023

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