The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday ordered the provincial government to extend winter vacations of schools and colleges of Lahore for seven more days due to the worsening smog situation in the city.

The LHC announced the decision for the closure of the educational institutes while hearing petitions seeking its intervention in the control of smog.

The court also summoned the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) director general to the next hearing.

During the hearing, the court observed that the “smog is being controlled to an extent. The government is responsible for the prevention of the smog.”

The court adjourned the hearing till Friday. 

Earlier this month, the LHC ordered closing the schools and offices for two days — Friday and Saturday — weekly owing to the smog situation. 

The notification, issued by the PDMA, stated that the staff may continue to work from home. The order will remain effective till January 15, 2023.

“All private offices being operated by companies, private sector entities and other individuals, within the territorial limits of Lahore Metropolitan Corporation, shall remain closed on every Friday, and Saturday, with effect from 07.12.2022 until 15.01.2023. However, their staff may work from home,” stated the PDMA notification.

Meanwhile, School Education Department’s notification stated that the decision to close the schools weekly is applied to all the private and government schools of Lahore district.

“In compliance with the directions of Hon’ble Lahore High Court, Lahore, in Writ Petition No. 227807/ 2018 vide order dated 02-12-2022, it is notified that owing to prevailing SMOG condition, all Public & Private Schools in District Lahore shall remain closed on every Friday & Saturday, in addition to the weekly holiday on Sunday till further orders,” stated the notification.

It also noted that the chief executive officer of the District Education Authority (DEA), Lahore and the concerned heads shall manage the distribution of homework to the students during the closure of schools.

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