The Lahore High Court (LHC) has decided to close all schools, colleges, and universities in Punjab on Saturdays until the end of January to tackle smog. This decision comes after citizens filed petitions requesting measures against air pollution.
Judge Justice Shahid Karim, in a written order, instructed the provincial government to officially announce the closure of educational institutions on Saturdays until the last week of January. The judge also mentioned that the government is working on enabling two days of work from home per week.
To address the high pollution levels, the Punjab Government had already implemented a smart lockdown on November 18 in the 10 most polluted districts. These districts included Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin, and Narowal.
The Punjab Health Department expressed concern about the rising cases of Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye, which is linked to bacterial or viral infections, as well as exposure to smoke, dust, or chemicals due to smog. In response, the government made it mandatory for people to wear masks when going outdoors.
Earlier, the province had observed a four-day holiday in smog-affected areas, and some businesses were temporarily closed. However, as rain helped reduce smog levels, businesses were later allowed to resume operations.