LHC Observes Environment Protection Dept Responsible For Smog

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LHC observes Environment Protection Dept responsible for smog


Justice Shahid Karim orders the relevant authorities to submit report about implementation of the action against smog.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Nov 24th, 2023) Justice Shahid Karim of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday observed that the Environmental Protection Department is responsible for the surge in environmental pollution.

Justice Karim asked the Punjab government's extensive construction projects, attributing the rise in smog to inadequate measures.

The court session included senior legal advisor Syed Kamal Haider from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), the Director General of the Environmental Protection Department Punjab, and members of the Environmental Commission.

The lawyer informed the court that factories were sealed under the orders of the Environmental Tribunal. Justice Karim asked about implementation of the orders, prompting the DG Environment to assert that they took necessary actions and are ready to present a comprehensive report.

Expressing concern, Justice Karim observed that the Environmental Department is responsible, accusing its officials of violating court orders. He warned of possible contempt notices against the officers.

The DG Environment revealed that several industries were breaching regulations, and strict actions would be taken against the violators. Responding to the court's query about specific actions taken, the DG mentioned initiating an inquiry against one officer to determine who ordered the sealing of factories.

Emphasizing the importance of due process, Justice Kareem observed that no officer should unilaterally seal a factory without court involvement. He underscored that any factory closure must be sanctioned by the court.

Senior legal advisor Syed Mazhar Ali updated the court on the LDA's proactive implementation of court orders, including organizing a cycling rally on Sundays to promote eco-friendly transportation.

The court commended these initiatives, noting their potential in curbing smog.

Justice Kareem urged immediate actions and emphasized holding officers accountable for any violations.

The judge expressed satisfaction with the city's progress while reiterating that controlling vehicle emissions remains pivotal in combating smog.

The court adjourned proceedings until December 4, with the directives to the authorities concerned to submit implementation report.

Abdullah Hussain

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