Punjab Smog Holidays: What will be open?

Commuters make their way through heavy smog on a road in Lahore.  — online/file
Commuters make their way through heavy smog on a road in Lahore. — online/file
  • Pharmacies, medical facilities and petrol pumps are allowed to open.
  • Shopping malls and markets will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The decision will remain effective in Lahore, Gujranwala and other areas.

To avoid inconvenience to the public, the caretaker government of Punjab on Thursday amended its notification and exempted call centers and international IT centers from the “lockdown” imposed in several districts of the province to reduce pollution levels.

A day earlier, the provincial government had declared a public holiday on November 10 (Friday) in Lahore, Gujranwala and other districts due to the ongoing smog in the province.

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

In a revised notification, the province’s primary and secondary health department notified that call centers and international information technology centers will be allowed to operate on Friday (November 10).

these will be open

Pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, oil depots, tandoors, bakeries, grocery and grocery stores, dairy shops, sweet shops, vegetable and fruit shops, chicken and meat shops were also exempted from the restrictions.

Postal and courier services, e-commerce, cellular networks and telecommunication centers will also remain open on October 10.

While markets in eight smog-affected districts will be allowed to operate today and tomorrow; However, shopping malls and markets will remain closed on Saturday and Sunday. The notification also said that cinema halls, restaurants and gyms will remain open as per regular schedule today.

This decision will be effective in Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala Narowal, Hafizabad and Sialkot.

Yesterday, environment and health emergency was also declared for four days in Lahore, Gujranwala and Hafizabad divisions due to the prevailing smog conditions.

Caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi made the announcement during a press conference on Tuesday after the air quality index (AQI) in the city was measured at 390, which falls in the hazardous category.

At this AQI level, the city maintained its position as one of the most polluted cities, with citizens experiencing smog and a hazy environment throughout the day. The air quality was extremely poor, making it almost impossible to breathe normally outside.

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