The Punjab government announced the closure of private offices and educational institutions in the provincial capital on Mondays; in addition to the weekly holidays observed on Saturdays and Sundays from November 27 till January 15, 2022; according to the Dawn newspaper.
The decision was taken as Lahore continuously topped the list of the world’s most polluted cities, along with India’s national capital territory, Delhi.
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AQI values below 100 are considered satisfactory and anything above 100 is unhealthy.
Residents have been complaining of shortness of breath; stinging eyes and nausea as the second-most populous city gasped for fresh air.
Pakistan has witnessed the worst air pollution in recent years from Karachi to Lahore; as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog.
Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry blamed previous authorities for smog in Lahore.
“We see Lahore engulfed by fog every winter due to the past rulers of the city; who had cut trees for erecting a jungle of concrete there which badly affected the green cover of Lahore and its surroundings,” he said on Saturday.