Smog forces schools to remain closed today in Punjab

Provincial govt urges public to refrain from taking kids outdoors unless absolutely necessary


​ Our Correspondent November 07, 2019
Smog hangs in the air around Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: All public and private schools have been closed in Lahore today due to high levels of smog.

The Punjab government took the late-night decision after a sudden spike in Lahore’s Air Quality Index (AQI) from less than 200 to more than 500.

“All Schools of Lahore (public and private) to remain closed tomorrow [on] November 7, 2019,” said Provincial Minister for School Education Dr Murad Raas in a tweet.

Is Punjab govt ready to tackle smog?

He added, “Smog [is] at abnormally high levels right now in Lahore. [The government is] continuously monitoring the situation. Please refrain from taking the kids outdoors unless it is absolutely necessary. Will update.”

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also directed the concerned staff to enhance efforts to control crop burning besides undertaking other steps to curb smog in the city.

Buzdar told authorities to run an effective awareness campaign related to smog.

“The agriculture department should strictly ensure the implementation of a ban on burning crop remains. As per law, action should be taken against the industries responsible for spreading pollution,” he stressed.

The provincial CM ordered to strictly ensure the enforcement of a ban on burning tyres.

Federal Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, in a tweet, took a jibe at the Indian government saying that crop burning in Jallender is playing havoc with the environment on both sides of the Punjab border.

He further offered to help the Indian government by suggesting them to use a “machine solution to turn crop waste into a burning billet”.

 

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