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Lahore school students to have three days off in a week

Decision was taken in view of hazardous level of smog
Updated 07 Dec, 2022 12:17pm
<p>People use face masks to protect themselves from morning smog as they ride on bike along a road in Lahore, Pakistan November 10, 2017. Reuters</p>

People use face masks to protect themselves from morning smog as they ride on bike along a road in Lahore, Pakistan November 10, 2017. Reuters

All schools in Lahore will remain closed on Friday and Saturday in addition to the weekly off on Sunday, the School Education Department said in a notification on Wednesday in view of the hazardous level of smog that has choked the provincial capital of Punjab.

“Chief Executive Officer, Lahore and the concerned Heads shall manage the distribution of homework to the students during the closure of schools,” School Education Secretary Waqas Ali Mahmood said in the official handout. All public and private schools in the district will remain closed until further notice.

The development comes a day after the Lahore High Court asked the provincial government to notify the closure of schools in Lahore for at least three days a week.

How many schools will follow it?

There are more than 1,000 schools in Lahore, according to the data of the 2018 Census that is available on the website of the School Education Department of Punjab.

  • Schools: 1,218 (586 Male, 633 Female)
  • Students: 661,958 (301,311 Male, 360,647 Female)
  • Teachers: 16,700 (5,855 Male, 10,845 Female)

For the past three weeks, Lahore has been ranked in the top five most polluted cities in the world. Such weather, which many have described as the city’s “fifth season”, has led to increased cases of flu, especially among children.

The air quality index (AQI) of Lahore was 265 (very unhealthy) on Wednesday, leading the air quality and pollution city ranking.

The AQI scale used for indexing real-time pollution is based on the latest US EPA standard, using the Instant Cast reporting formula, said the website.

 Photo via Air Quality Index website.
Photo via Air Quality Index website.

According to the reports, the AQI has crossed hazardous levels in various areas of Lahore.

Places AQI
Canal Bank Housing Scheme 362
Fida Hussain Road 337
Syed Maratab Ali Road 305
Phase 8 DHA 303
Lahore American School 301
Block K 290
CERP Office 287
Sector R DHA Phase 2 285
Block B1 279
Pakistan Engineering Services (Pvt) Ltd 278

The provincial government has decided to deal with smog on an emergency basis. An emergency would mean that smog-related measures would be the top priority for any department.

What is the status of motorways?

The M2 motorway, from Lahore to Sheikhupura, and Lahore Multan Motorway M3, from Faizpur to Darkhana, were closed due to fog. Similarly, the M4 motorway, from Pindi Bhattian to Abdul Hakeem, and M5 motorway, from Multan to Sukkur, were also closed.

The Swat Expressway, from Colonel Sher Khan to Ismaila, has also been closed.

On the national highway, the visibility in Khanewal Mian Chanu and Bahawalpur has been reduced to 50 to 70 meters.

The Motorway Police has advised the citizens use fog lights while travelling and avoid unnecessary travel.

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