Lahore becomes one of the world’s most polluted places: Is closing down schools, workplaces an apt solution?

Shanzay Salman

Shanzay Salman

Features Editor

With Lahore being declared as one of the most polluted places in the world, the provincial government in Punjab has suggested the closure of schools, private workplaces amidst the worsening smog situation. The question is, is limiting human exposure to the environment an apt solution to counter the ominous smog?

As per the announcement, schools and private offices in Lahore have been advised to shut down for three days a week until January 15 to deal with the unhealthy smog situation in the city.

Under the ongoing smog situation, residents of the Pakistani city have complained of health issues and breathing difficulties. The official notification circulated by the provincial authority acknowledged the deteriorating air quality in Lahore, saying there was “sufficient ground” to proceed for the purpose of ensuring public safety.

In lieu of the current situation, is closing down public spaces a sufficient and suitable response to the detrimental smog crisis in the city? Is it sufficient as the only measure being taken, while massive development projects and commercial buildings are still underway- rapidly paving away the remaining green area in the city? If the current situation is allowed to persist as it is, or allowed to worsen with even more ‘development’ projects, what kind of repercussions could that have on the health, activities and daily lives of Lahore’s citizens?