Punjab government has declared a public holiday on November 10 to curb smog.

Vehicles move through dense fog in Lahore, Pakistan on November 24, 2021.  - Reuters
Vehicles move through dense fog in Lahore, Pakistan on November 24, 2021. – Reuters

The Punjab government declared a public holiday on November 10 (Friday) in Lahore, Gujranwala and other districts due to haze prevailing in the province.

“For general information, it is notified that 10th November 2023 (Friday) will be observed as a public holiday in Lahore Division (District Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur), District Gujranwala, District Hafizabad, District Sialkot and District Narowal. Notification “There will be fog, except in offices exempted by the primary and secondary health department,” it said.

A day earlier, the Punjab government had imposed health emergency in Lahore and two other divisions from November 9 to 12.

A statement issued by the provincial health department said all markets, shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, gymnasiums, schools and offices (public and private) in Lahore, Gujranwala and Hafizabad divisions will remain closed for four days.

Increasing industrialization in South Asia in recent decades has led to increased emissions from factories, construction activities and vehicles in densely populated areas.

The problem becomes more severe in the cold autumn and winter months, as temperature inversions prevent a layer of warm air from rising and trapping pollutants closer to the ground.

Heavy smog blanketed Lahore this week, reducing visibility and residents complaining of threats to their health.

“The weather is such that everyone’s throat is sore and eyes are sore and everyone’s health is being affected,” said Mohammad Salahuddin, a private guard in Lahore.

Rising air pollution could cut per capita life expectancy by more than five years in South Asia, one of the world’s most polluted regions, according to a report published in August that highlighted the growing burden of hazardous air exposure on health. Is.

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