The Lahore High Court (LHC) has instructed the Punjab government to send a notice to private offices in Lahore to reduce employee attendance by half in order to combat smog.
During the trial, Justice Shahid Karim heard a number of complaints concerning the Punjab government’s inability to address environmental concerns. The Judicial Water and Environmental Commission suggested that schools in smoggy areas be closed, but the LHC denied the proposal.
The high court ordered that private enterprises in Lahore instantly reduce their staff presence in their premises by half.
In search of a traffic solution, the court ordered officials to set up an emergency helpline for residents experiencing traffic problems.
In recent years, Pakistan’s air pollution has increased as a combination of low-grade diesel emissions, smoke from seasonal agricultural burn off, and lower winter temperatures merge into stationary clouds of smog.
According to IQAir, the Swiss technology firm that manages the Air Visual monitoring platform, Lahore was named the most contaminated city in the world on Wednesday, with an air quality index of 348, much over the dangerous standard of 300.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has formed a five-member anti-smog squad, comprised of members from the environment department, police, city administration, LESCO, WASA, and MCL, to conduct weekly inspections of all businesses in Lahore and to take harsh punishment against violators.
In addition, the Punjab Environment Minister stated that the environment department, in partnership with SUPARCO, is initiating a pilot project in Lahore to create several types of environmental models to address the fundamental causes of pollution.