The interim government of Punjab has issued a notification announcing the closure of both public and private educational institutions, including schools, colleges, and universities, in 10 districts of the province on November 18 due to alarming levels of smog.
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Notification of Punjab Government Closure of School
According to the official notification, businesses such as shops, gyms, and cinemas will also be shut until 3 PM on Saturday. The affected districts include:
- Nankana Sahib
- Mandi Bahuddin
The notification further imposes “restricted movement” in these districts, identified as having the highest air quality index (AQI). The Lahore High Court (LHC) had previously mandated a work-from-home policy for offices twice a week.
Furthermore, the court has consistently advocated for the promotion of cycling as a measure to combat smog. In a bid to address the issue, the provincial government had previously declared four holidays.
Minister of Planning and Development, Forrest Wildlife and Fisheries & Environmental Protection, Bilal Afzal, has attributed 45% of the smog issue to the transportation sector.