Judicial body suggests school closures in smog-hit areas

Proposes online classes to save students from health hazards

By: News Desk      Published: 11:13 PM, 17 Nov, 2021
Judicial body suggests school closures in smog-hit areas

The Judicial Water and Environment Commission has recommended the closure of schools in the areas blanked by smog, the 24NewsHD TV channel reported on Wednesday. The commission laid stress on going for online classes to save the youth from smog-related health issues.

The move comes a day after the Lahore High Court directed Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to take up the smog situation at Environment Protection Council.

“It is of utmost importance that the meeting of the council is convened at the earliest to deliberate upon the calamity of smog and to issue direction for effectively dealing with the situation,” Justice Shahid Karim said in his written order.

Justice Karim observed that the provincial government was responsible for making Lahore the most polluted city as it deliberately failed to make the city clean and green.

The court scolded the Lahore commissioner and the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) director-general for not doing the on-site inspection.

Earlier, the petitioner presented a government notification of 2020 whereby smog had been declared a calamity under section 3 of the Punjab National Calamities (Prevention & Relief) Act 1958. The PDMA chief, present in court, had not been able to present any tangible steps which were taken pursuant to the notification.

The judge observed it was clear that there were no follow-up steps that had been put in place by the PDMA for dealing with the calamity and it was insufficient for smog to be declared as such unless substantial measures were taken in this regard.

The judge directed the PDMA to come up with an extensive plan to deal with the menace of smog and a meeting shall be held under the chairmanship of a judicial commission on water and environment.

Reporter: Usman Khadim Kamboh