Friday Nov 19, 2021
LAHORE: The Punjab government on Friday directed private sector companies in Lahore to operate with 50% attendance till further notice as authorities take steps to deal with a worsening smog situation.
The development comes after the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered the Punjab government to announce a 50% attendance policy for private offices.
Lahore regularly ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution — a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn-off, and colder winter temperatures coalescing into stagnant clouds.
In a notification issued by the Punjab Disaster Management Authority's (PDMA) director-general, the provincial government also imposed a ban on several activities.
In case the authorities find individuals violating the orders, they will be charged under Section 188 of the Pakistan Penal Code, the notification said.
In the notification, relief commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar also directed all administrative secretaries falling under Punjab government to make plans for a 50% reduction of official vehicles of their departments, plying on roads, from November 25, 2021, to January 15, 2022.
The commissioners of Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and, Multan Divisions shall ensure similar arrangements for the reduction of official vehicles in their respective divisional headquarters, Tarar ordered.
The School Education Department and Higher Education Department shall ensure that public and private educational institutions increase the use of buses/vans by 50% for pick and drop of students, the government official added.
In line with the Lahore High Court's ruling on November 18, the Punjab government has also decided to impose heavy fines on individuals and companies responsible for exacerbating the smog situation.
|Activity||Fine in rupees||Action to be taken by|
|Burning of crop residue and municipal residue||50,000||Deputy commissioners and revenue officers under their administrative control|
|Brick kilns not on zig-zag methodology or emitting black smoke||50,000-100,000||Environment Protection Department|
|Polluting and smoke emitting public and private transport||2,000||Transport Department and traffic police|
|Industrial units functioning without emission control equipment/devices||50,000-100,000||Deputy commissioners and revenue officers under their administrative control/Environment Protection Department|