October 11, 2023
ISLAMABAD – The Punjab government on Tuesday said it was deliberating on a weekly holiday and work from home arrangement to counter smog in Lahore.
According to a statement released by the spokesperson of the provincial government, the final decision on the matter would be taken during the cabinet meeting.
“During the upcoming cabinet meeting, the proposal for implementing a ‘work from home’ arrangement for one day in educational institutions, government offices, and markets will be under scrutiny,” he said.
The spokesperson added that proposed strategies and recommendations aimed at combating smog would also be thoroughly examined in the cabinet meeting.
“In light of recent rainfall, the air quality index in Lahore has improved to a reading of 55. A strategic action plan will be formulated to sustain this positive trend in air quality,” he said.
Separately, the Lahore Commissioner’s Office has said that if the decision was implemented, a weekly holiday in the city would be observed on Wednesday and the implementation would begin next week.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of the Lahore commissioner said all educational institutions, markets, and offices will operate normally tomorrow. The extension of the extra holiday will come into effect starting next week after the issuance of notification from the provincial government.
The statement expressed disapproval of certain channels disseminating inaccurate information about a holiday tomorrow.
Independent urban and environmental experts have warned of the increase in smog in Lahore within a month or two due to various issues.
The provincial capital had jumped more than 10 places to become the city with the worst air in the world in 2022, according to an annual global survey by a Swiss maker of air purifiers.
The air quality had worsened to 97.4 micrograms of PM2.5 particles per cubic meter from 86.5 in 2021, making it the most polluted city globally, according to a report published by IQAir in March this year.