LHC orders to seal smoke-emitting factories across province to combat smog
By News Desk
November 3, 2023 05:03 PM
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed authorities to seal factories emitting smoke throughout the province as a measure to address increasing smog levels, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.
The court’s directives come on the heels of its recent instructions to the Punjab caretaker government, seeking immediate actions to mitigate the hazardous air quality.
Following the court orders, the provincial government had issued a statement stating: “The smog emergency has been enforced across Punjab and wearing a mask is mandatory for students in all public and private schools for one month.”
During the hearing of public interest petitions filed by Haroon Farooq and others on different environmental issues, Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa appeared before Justice Shahid Karim who was conducting the hearing.
The commissioner informed the court that traffic police had been instructed to take action against vehicles emitting smoke.
In response, the court stressed the importance of capturing images of such vehicles, underlining that substantial measures were needed to combat smog at the beginning of next year. It said that a two-month timeframe would be adequate.
The commissioner told the court that the city administration had taken various initiatives to promote cycling and had initiated discussions with relevant authorities to establish a dedicated and separate cycle track. “We are working on facilitating discounts from hotels for cyclists.”
The court recommended the involvement of the private sector in the endeavour.
During the course of the hearing, the LHC judge declared that factories emitting smoke should be sealed, adding that an undertaking committing to prevent their operations from contributing to pollution must also be sought.
The judge added, “If an undertaking is submitted and a violation occurs again, the next course of action should be the demolition of the factory.”
Justice Karim also expressed his concern regarding the apparent inactivity of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, stating, “It appears that they are asleep, and we awake them.”
Reporter: Malik Ashraf