Lahore consistently ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution. — AFP

Lahore consistently ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution. — AFP

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the authorities to close markets and restaurants by 10:00pm in Lahore to control the smog.

The orders were issued by Justice Shahid Karim while hearing a petition seeking the court’s intervention to curb smog.

While issuing the directives, the court said that the restaurants be allowed to close at 11pm on weekends.

The court also ordered that schools opening on Fridays be sealed and directed the education department to strictly implement its orders.

During today’s hearing, the court was suggested to close the markets on Sunday. However, it put off the suggestion for now.

Lahore schools, offices to close thrice a week 

Last week, the Punjab Government, on the LHC’s order, issued a notification directing closure of schools and offices in Lahore for additional two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly due to the worsening smog situation in the city.

The notification, issued by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (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.

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