LHC Orders Punjab Govt For Strict Measures To Control Smog


LHC orders Punjab govt for strict measures to control smog

The court has directed to remove DG Environment and reshuffling of some deputy commissioners of different districts.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Nov 13rd, 2023) In response to the rising smog crisis in Lahore, the Lahore High Court, led by Justice Shahid Karim, has ordered the Punjab government to address the hazardous air quality.

The court has ordered the government authorities, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, to promptly enhance smog control measures.

Justice Karim stressed the severity of the situation, observing that the government should declare vacations across the province to combat smog.

The court mandated the closure of all government and private educational institutions every Saturday and introduced a two-day work-from-home policy for all offices each week.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, Justice Karim emphasized the need for immediate action and proposed the declaration of holidays across the entire Punjab region as a proactive measure against the smog crisis.

To ensure accountability, the court directed the Punjab government to facilitate the exchange of Deputy Commissioners in Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, and Gojra. Contempt of court notices were issued to these officers, indicating a strong stance for necessary measures.

The Lahore High Court also urged officials to address the root causes of smog, emphasizing environmental management. The court ordered the immediate replacement of the Director-General of Environment and called for swift action to implement effective solutions.

During the proceedings, the court highlighted the role of vehicle emissions in contributing to smog and advocated for the promotion of cycling and public transport. Justice Karim emphasized the impact of traffic on air quality, noting that even a brief halt for five minutes could lead to widespread chaos.

A legal representative informed the court about the importation of large quantities of tires within specific police station limits, requesting prompt action from the Chief Secretary.

At this, Justice Karim directed relevant authorities to take a collaborative approach to tackle the smog crisis.

The court also instructed the Chief Secretary of Punjab to engage in a meeting with the Judicial Water Commission and ensure the effective implementation of the two-day work-from-home policy in offices. The further hearing has been adjourned till Wednesday.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.