- Web Desk
- 2 Hours ago
LHC dissatisfied with implementation efforts on smog notification
- Web Desk
- Nov 24, 2023
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) in its hearing on petitions addressing the pressing smog crisis, delved into critical inquiries regarding environmental violations and the government’s response.
During the proceedings, the court expressed dissatisfaction with the Department of Environment’s role in environmental related issues. The court said that the department is exacerbating the situation, and intensified its scrutiny. The court’s stern warnings of contempt of court notices and calls for accountability underscored the gravity of the situation.
The inquired about the actions taken so far to curb the instance of smog as well as any actions against officers violating the court’s orders. Department of Environment Director General responded that once he called an officer at a time and inquired as to who had de-sealed the factories producing smog causing emissions.
“No officer of yours can de-seal a factory,” the court said adding, “If a factory is to be de-sealed, approach this court”.
While grappling with the environmental crisis, the court also questioned the caretaker Punjab government’s construction activities, expressing concern over the perceived destruction of the city and increasing pollution. The DG Environment was urged to take substantial action, with the court emphasising that it could only recommend but would hold officers responsible for any violations found.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) issued a notification which said that there would be “restricted movement” in the divisions. Another letter notifying school holidays due to smog had already been issued in the province.
The average air quality index (AQI) of the city was recorded at above 400 on Thursday which is regarded as hazardous.
15 arrested in Sialkot
In a related development in Sialkot, Assistant Commissioner Ghulam Sarwar took decisive action to enforce government directives aimed at mitigating the impact of smog.
In Sialkot, AC Sarwar was seen actively implementing government directives related to the smog lockdown. His actions resulted in the sealing of 17 shops in the Bunk Road Sports Market area due to violations of the smog lockdown measures.
Furthermore, fifteen traders in Sialkot were arrested for non-compliance. The administration and the police in Sialkot are reportedly fully mobilised to ensure the effective implementation of the smog lockdown measures.