Lahore: The Punjab government announced an environmental emergency in Lahore on Tuesday, where air quality continues to deteriorate to hazardous levels due to smog. The city’s air quality index (AQI) read 184 around 5.30pm this evening and the pollution problem persists to get worse with each passing day, turning air quality dangerous. The recurrent situation has already put the city as the fifth most polluted in the world.
Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi, in a press conference today, said that an emergency had been imposed in the city and instructed authorities to chalk out a plan to combat the worsening situation.
“A ban has also been imposed on the burning of crop residues across the province,” Elahi said, warning that strict action will be taken against those violating the orders.
Moreover, the chief minister said modern harvesters would be provided to farmers in a bid to prevent them from stubble burning, while brick kilns will be transferred to zigzag technology.
He went on to say that anti-smog squads will be checking vehicles in the city emitting smoke and actions will be taken against them. “This campaign will last for three months,” Elahi added.
Separately, the Lahore High Court Justice Shahid Karim, responding to petitions in the public interest on the environmental issues, directed the provincial government to keep schools in Lahore closed for three days a week due to the worsening smog situation.
During the hearing today, Justice Karim observed that the petitions mentioned that authorities had failed to take apt measures to curb smog and instructed the government to issue a notification ordering the closure of schools for three days