Punjab declares smog emergency

LAHORE   -  Punjab’s Disaster Management Authority Wednesday declared smog a disaster, urging the authorities to take anti-pollution measures immediately. All the deputy commissioners are ordered to take action against all those contributing in causing smog and pollution. The Punjab government also took decisive measures in response to the smog situation, declaring a one-month smog emergency across the province and making the wearing of masks mandatory for students in both government and private schools.

This action follows a meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi to address the escalating smog situation, where government officials and experts discussed strategies for smog mitigation. Earlier, the Lahore High Court (LHC) blamed the incumbent government for the current situation in Lahore due to the smog and ordered the administration to impose a citywide emergency. The orders were issued when the LHC took up pleas seeking the court’s intervention in the matter. During today’s hearing, Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhwa and other officers appeared before the court. The court directed the government not to deseal factories that are responsible for black smoke and directed school and college students to inform the authorities of such factories. It also ordered the commissioner and other officers to visit schools and colleges to inform students about the decision regarding factories that emit black smoke. “The government is responsible for the current situation of smog,” observed Justice Shahid Karim. While addressing the officers, the judge told them to look at the city’s situation and reminded them that they were the owners of the city and in a position to do something about it. Chief Minister Naqvi stressed the importance of mask-wearing for the health of male and female students and appealed to the general public to wear masks when leaving their homes. He also directed provincial ministers to start visiting government and private schools from the following day.

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