pakistan
Monday Nov 22 2021
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Lahore schools, offices to remain shut thrice a week as smog worsens

People walk along the banks of river Ravi amid smoggy conditions in Lahore on November 22, 2021. — AFP
People walk along the banks of river Ravi amid smoggy conditions in Lahore on November 22, 2021. — AFP

  • Private offices to remain closed; all schools to remain shut.  
  • Restriction will be imposed from November 27 to January 15.
  • Schools and offices will be closed on Saturday, Sunday, Monday.


LAHORE: The Punjab government has decided to shut down private and government schools in Lahore thrice a week as the smog situation in the provincial capital has taken a turn for the worse.

In a notification, Punjab Relief Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar said the restriction would be in place from November 27 to January 15. The commissioner said private offices in the provincial capital would also remain shut three days a week.

Schools and offices will be closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, the notification said.

Lahore was ranked among the top five cities of the world with bad air quality, as it recorded its Air Quality Index (AQI) hit 167.

Last week, the provincial government had directed private sector companies in Lahore to operate on a 50% attendance basis till further notice and said polluters would be fined.

ActivityFine in rupeesAction to be taken by
Burning of crop residue and municipal residue50,000Deputy commissioners and revenue officers under their administrative control
Brick kilns not on zig-zag methodology or emitting black smoke 50,000-100,000Environment Protection Department
Polluting and smoke emitting public and private transport2,000Transport Department and traffic police
Industrial units functioning without emission control equipment/devices50,000-100,000Deputy commissioners and revenue officers under their administrative control/Environment Protection Department

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.