Punjab government mulls imposing covid-like lockdown in Lahore

Punjab government mulls imposing covid-like lockdown in Lahore

Lahore: In response to the deteriorating smog conditions in the provincial capital Lahore, all private and public schools, as well as markets, are set to remain closed on Wednesday, as reported by ARY News, citing sources.

The Punjab government is contemplating implementing restrictions similar to those imposed during the coronavirus pandemic to manage the worsening smog situation. According to sources, authorities are likely to announce a complete shutdown on Wednesdays, affecting schools, markets, and factories.

Under the proposed policy, government departments will operate with 50% staff strength on Wednesdays, and snap-checking measures will be conducted during weekends, specifically on Saturday and Sunday. There is also a suggestion to impose substantial fines on factories that violate environmental regulations.

It's important to note that the main contributor to smog in the city is unusual traffic, with factory emissions accounting for only 7% of the overall pollution in Lahore. Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa mentioned that authorities are considering a work-from-home policy for two months to combat smog in the Lahore Division.

Local traders have expressed support for keeping markets closed on Wednesdays, and they may be allowed to open on Sundays. Earlier, the Lahore High Court directed authorities to impose fines on vehicles for improper parking in the provincial capital.

The court issued these orders while hearing a petition aimed at addressing the smog issue. According to the court's directives, individuals washing their vehicles at home could face a fine of Rs3,000, and a Rs5,000 fine would be imposed for incorrect parking within the city, with the collected fines going to WASA's funds.