As part of measures to reduce smog in the city, the Lahore High Court ordered on Wednesday the closure of all markets and restaurants in Punjab’s provincial capital by 10 p.m. on weekdays and the closure of any schools that opened on Fridays.
Justice Shahid Karim issued the directives as the court heard public interest petitions on a variety of environmental issues.
After an environmental emergency was declared in Lahore, the LHC directed the provincial government to keep schools closed for three days a week in a hearing on December 6.
As the hearing resumed today, the court noted that there had been some reduction in smog as a result of the court directives.
“Now these directives must be monitored,” the court said, ordering that any schools that opened on Fridays be closed.
It directed the education department to strictly enforce the directive.
Furthermore, the court ordered that all markets and restaurants in the city close by 10 p.m. on weekdays. Sunday markets may be open from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
On Tuesday, Lahore commissioner Aamir Jan met with commercial and wholesale traders and announced that all markets in the city would close by 10 p.m. on weekdays and remain completely closed on Sundays.
Restaurants, on the other hand, may stay open until 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Lahore’s air quality has recently deteriorated to unhealthy levels, with the city blanketed in smog.
According to iqair.com, a website that monitors air quality across the globe, the air quality in Lahore on the AQI (air quality index) was 149 at 2:30pm today, which qualified as “unhealthy for sensitive groups”.