LAHORE: In the wake of increasing smog across the city, Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday has directed private offices to allow 50 percent of their employees to work from home.
During the hearing, the court has ordered the concerned authorities to summon sessions regarding the employees working in the government sector.
On the other hand, the provincial capital of Punjab, Lahore, has been declared the second-most polluted city globally. The city had an air quality ranking of 367, well over the hazardous level of 300, according to IQAir, the technology company that operates the AirVisual monitoring platform.
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The worst quality of air was recorded in Gulberg as AQI reached 564, followed by Kot Lakhpat 563, Davis Road 513, DHA 487, Township 465, Bahria Orchard 413, Allama Iqbal Town 422, Punjab University 475 and Anarkali Bazar at 416.
Residents choking in acrid smog pleaded with officials to take action.
Air pollution has worsened in Pakistan in recent years, as a mixture of low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal crop burn off, and colder winter temperatures coalesce into stagnant clouds of smog.
Lahore, a bustling megacity of more than 11 million people in Punjab province near the border with India, consistently ranks among the worst cities in the world for air pollution.
In recent years residents have built their own air purifiers and taken out lawsuits against government officials in desperate bids to clean the air — but authorities have been slow to act, blaming the smog on India or claiming the figures are exaggerated.