LHC directs govt to extend winter vacations by 7 more days in smog-hit Lahore

LHC says that smog is being controlled to an extent and that government is responsible for its prevention

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Children walk to school amid heavy smog conditions in Lahore on December 1, 2022. — AFP
Children walk to school amid heavy smog conditions in Lahore on December 1, 2022. — AFP

  • Court summons PDMA director general to next hearing. 
  • Court says that smog is being controlled to an extent.
  • The govt is responsible for prevention of smog, it adds. 

The Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the government to extend the winter vacations of schools and colleges of Lahore for seven more days due to the worsening smog situation in the city, reported Geo News on Tuesday. 

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday announced the decision for the closure of the educational institutes while hearing petitions seeking its intervention in the control of smog.

The court also summoned the Provincial Disaster Management Authority's (PDMA) director general to the next hearing.

During the hearing, the court said that the smog is being controlled to an extent. "The government is responsible for the prevention of the smog," said the court. 

The court then adjourned the hearing till Friday. 

LHC allows theaters to remain open from 9:30pm-11pm

In a separate petition, LHC allowed the theatres to remain open from 9:30 to 11:30pm, directing the district administration to issue a notification in this regard.

Justice Shahid Karim issued the directives while hearing petition of the Punjab Artist Producer Theatre Association on closure of theatres.

The association had challenged the suspension notices sent to theatres opening after 10pm.

During the hearing, Justice Karim said that everyone is taking measures to control smog as it is a matter of adults as well as children.

Justice Karim urged the people to change their lifestyles to control the control.

Schools, offices closed for two days

Earlier this month, the LHC ordered closing the schools and offices for two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly owing to the smog situation. 

The notification, issued by the PDMA, stated that the staff may continue to work from home. The order will remain effective till January 15, 2023.

"All private offices being operated by companies, private sector entities and other individuals, within the territorial limits of Lahore Metropolitan Corporation, shall remain closed on every Friday, and Saturday, with effect from 07.12.2022 until 15.01.2023. However, their staff may work from home," stated the PDMA notification.

Meanwhile, School Education Department's notification stated that the decision to close the schools weekly 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.