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Lahore schools, private offices to close thrice a week as smog worsens

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  • Decision was made in line with LHC’s orders.
  • All private, public schools to remain closed: notification. 
  • Office staff will continue to work from home.  

The schools and offices in Lahore will remain closed for additional two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly due to the worsening smog situation in the city, according to notifications issued by the Punjab government on Wednesday.

The step was taken on the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).

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.

LHC order 

A day earlier, the Lahore High Court sought a notification from the Punjab government tomorrow (Wednesday) for the closure of schools for three days weekly.

The directives were issued by the court during the hearing of a case related to pollution and smog in Lahore and other Punjab cities.

During the hearing, the court ordered the Punjab government’s lawyer to submit a notification regarding the closure of schools tomorrow.

Smog emergency

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi announced to impose environmental emergency in Lahore and other cities to deal with the situation of smog.

The chief minister said that smog has been declared disastrous and ordered to effectively implement the plan to reduce the smog.

“Action should be taken to control those factors that are causing smog,” said CM Elahi, adding that failure to implement the standard operating procedure (SOPs) to reduce smog will not be tolerated.

The chief minister also announced a ban on stubble burning, saying that action will be taken against those caught burning the crops residue.

CM Elahi said that action will also be taken against the vehicles emitting smoke. He added that the anti-smog squad will constantly check the smoke-emitting vehicles in the city.

“The anti-smog squad will also check the vehicles at the entrance of the Lahore city,” said the chief minister. He added that the farmers will be provided with a modern harvester called “Hepper Seed” to dispose of crop residues.

The chief minister said he has issued directives to transfer all brick kilns to zigzag technology. He also ordered that the environment, agriculture, industries and transport departments should conduct an anti-smog campaign continuously for three months.

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Meeting with the President: The Need for Preventive Measures to Avoid Expensive Treatment

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According to President Dr. Arif Alvi, adopting preventative measures against various ailments is essential to avoiding costly treatment, and these practices would also lessen the strain on the healthcare system.

He was speaking with a Pakistan National Heart Association team when they paid him a visit at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The President received a report from the delegation detailing the organization’s successes and operations.

The President emphasised the need to raise public awareness of the need of taking preventative steps to ward off heart disease and non-communicable illnesses.

In addition, he emphasised the need of the media, the local populace, mosques, and non-governmental organisations in raising this kind of knowledge in addition to using the newest media outlets to disseminate awareness.

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Meeting with COAS: Gen Asim to Reach National Agreement on Reducing Intolerance, ASP Shehrbano

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Lady Police Officer Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi has received praise from Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir for calming a tense situation and defending a woman in Ichra Bazaar, Lahore, from a violent crowd.

When the Army Chief met with Assistant Superintendent of Police Syeda Shehrbano Naqvi in Rawalpindi, he emphasised the value of social cohesion and the necessity of national agreement on reducing bigotry.

He acknowledged the important role Pakistani women have played in all spheres of society since the country’s independence and stated that because of their skill, perseverance, and dedication, they have made a name for themselves both domestically and internationally.

According to the Army Chief, women play a crucial role in Pakistani culture and are respected in both our social and religious ethos.

He placed a strong emphasis on the rule of law and cautioned against enforcing laws on oneself when there are legal channels available to resolve issues and complaints.

Syed Asim Munir emphasised the enduring theme of love and generosity found in Islam, pointing out that arbitrary measures based on heresy damage society’s perspective.

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Elections

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s JUI-F resignation from the Senate

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Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the JUI-F leader’s resignation, which he accepted.

In the National Assembly, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri will be sworn in as a member.

Following their victories in the general elections on February 8 for the Balochistan Assembly, Senators Sarfraz Bugti and Prince Umar Ahmedzai had already announced their resignations from the Senate.

Prior carer Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani received the resignation of Federal Interior Minister Bugti, which he accepted.

In a similar vein, Senator Prince Umar Ahmedzai of the Balochistan Awami Party resigned from the Senate following his election to the provincial legislature.

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