With Lahore being declared calamity-hit due to intense smog, the provincial government on Wednesday decided to take a page from the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) contingency playbook and directed to close private businesses in the province for two days a week in favor of “work from home”.
A notification to this effect was issued by Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Relief Commissioner Zahid AKhtar Zaman on Wednesday. The notice was signed off by Coordination Director Tauqir Mehmood Wattoo.
The notice was issued after directives from the Lahore High Court (LHC) to close private offices two days a week and schools three days a week through ‘work from home’ schedules as smog intensifies in the city.
According to the notification, private offices will be closed for two days a week, Friday and Saturday, with the government directing them to adopt ‘work from home’.
The notification said that all private offices will follow the new schedule from December 7, 2022, until January 15, 2023.
The recent Air Quality Index (AQI) of Lahore, showed air quality in the city to be very poor, which can cause breathing, respiratory tract and heart diseases amongst people of all age brackets.
Hence, the Provincial Cabinet of Punjab, declared smog as calamity under section 3 of “The Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief), Act 1958”.
Earlier, Punjab government also issued notification on closure of schools for three days in a week due to prevailing smog.