Schools in Punjab return to regular timings as smog dissipates
LAHORE: The Punjab School Education Department on Wednesday restored the regular timings for the government-aided and unaided private schools after smog in the province receded to a greater extent.
The schools will now again start from 9:00 am in the morning and end at 2:30 pm.
In view of the spell of dense smog, the education department had earlier made changes in timings for all schools in the province. The opening timings were pushed back from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.
The step was taken to avoid any kind of eventuality since the visibility range was reduced due to presence of thick smog layer across the province.
During this spell of foggy weather conditions, at least five people were killed and around 40 were injured in separate road accidents due to low visibility caused by the smog.
Various sections of motorway were also closed owing to poor visibility caused by dense smog during this period, besides several domestic and international flights were cancelled.
However, rains in the province washed the smog away lately bringing respite to people reeling under the foggy weather conditions.
The provincial government imposed Section 144 in the province, which is still enforced, to bar farmers from burning leftover crops waste, which believed to be one of the prime contributors to the smog problem in Punjab.
Moreover, a Lahore High Court (LHC) bench held Punjab government responsible in its written verdict on a petition seeking implication of measures to control smog in Punjab.
Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of LHC held Punjab government responsible for inaction against smog that crippled the normal life across the province.
The written verdict, which released earlier this month, read that the provincial government was fast asleep while the deadly smog causing fatal traffic accidents and other health issues.
It said the authorities concerned remained apathetic to take effective measures and indulged in analyzing data relating the smog instead.
Punjab has been badly struck with foggy weather condition in recent years in beginning days of winter in the region. The prevalent smog episode is similar to the one that struck the province last year, noted chief meteorologist Mohammad Riaz earlier.
The smog is caused by a lack of rain and immense pollution. Smoke from vehicles, factories and burning of the remains of crops could be one of the major factors behind the dense smog in the province, Riaz then said.