Schools and colleges to remain closed on Friday in 12 Punjab districts
Lahore: The Punjab government has shut down schools and colleges in 10 districts of the province in connection with the smog issue, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Announcing the decision on Thursday, Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi said all educational institutions including the schools and colleges will remain closed on Friday and Saturday and the markets and restaurants will open at 3:00 pm on Saturday.
Naqvi announced this at a press conference in Lahore following an important meeting on the issue. The decision would apply to Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sargodha and Sahiwal divisions.
He also announced that air-purifying towers would be installed in Lahore, while 10,000 students would be given electric motorbikes on subsidy.
Artificial rain will be conducted if the clouds are closer to Lahore on November 29, the CM said, adding he was not in favour of closing markets, so they will open at 3pm on Friday and Saturday.
All kinds of markets will remain closed on Sunday, while restaurants will also open at 3pm.
The government has also decided to double the spray of water on roads. On Sunday, The Mall road will be open to only cyclists from morning to 5pm.
Naqvi advised everyone to wear a mask when getting out of their houses. He claimed that the wind from India is impacting Punjab.
Earlier, Mohsin Naqvi chairmed an important meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Anti-Smog.
According to government sources, proposals to impose soft lockdown to combat smog in Punjab were discussed in the meeting.
The sources said that all schools, colleges, universities are proposed to be closed on this Friday.
It is proposed to close down markets, gyms, cinemas, theaters and factories even on Saturday, the sources said.
The proposal to close restaurants on Saturdays except takeaway and home delivery was also taken up, sources said and added the meeting also discussed the proposal to limit public and private vehicles in the city because the main reason for the increase in smog is the abnormal traffic in Lahore.
Half of the employees will work in the government offices, the sources said.
It was also proposed to cordon off the city after the soft lockdown on Friday and Saturday.
The proposal of closure and heavy fines to the factories working against the law was also considered, the sources said.
There was also a proposal to implement Section 144 in Lahore.
Punjab CM visits Mayo Hospital, KEMU
The Chief Minister later visited Mayo Hospital and King Edward Medical University in order inspect the ongoing development work.
Provincial Minister Dr Javed Akram, Secretary Health Ali Jan, Secretary C&W Sohail Ashraf, other officers were also present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister inspected all the blocks and floors of the emergency under construction.
The Chief Minister also visited King Edward University and conducted detailed inspection of classrooms, halls, theaters, corridors and the CT scan area.
The Chief Minister stopped and inquired about the health facilities from the citizens and relatives of the patients.
The Chief Minister also inspected the material used in the construction works.