LHC orders action against vehicles emitting gaseous emissions
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered the provincial authorities to take action against vehicles emitting gaseous emissions.
Justice Shahid Karim passed the orders while hearing petitions filed by Hammad and others for directions to curb smog in the province.
During the proceedings, a law officer on behalf of the provincial government submitted that the smog had been declared as a calamity under Punjab Natural Calamity Act 1958 and a notification had also been issued in this regard.
He submitted that under the Punjab Civil Administration Act 2017, the provincial government had delegated the task to commissioners in all major cities to curb smog. He submitted that the brick-kiln industry would remain closed during the month of November and half of December and steps were being taken to convert the entire brick-kiln industry into zig-zag technology.
However, the court observed that mere issuance of notification would not curb smog unless chief secretary Punjab and commissioners in every division take action and pass executive orders against industries polluting the environment.
The court directed the Punjab chief secretary to conduct a meeting with chief traffic officer and Environment Protection Department to ban vehicles in the Punjab causing pollution and also take action against industries causing emissions.
The court directed the Punjab government to release information and make it available to the public regarding air quality index.
The petitioners' counsel, Sheraz Zaka advocate, submitted that the Punjab govt should take drastic steps and must ensure the closure of the brick kiln industry.
The Punjab Environment Department gave an undertaking before the court that no brick kiln factory would remain open in November and December months and no brick kiln factory would be allowed to remain open unless or until it converted into zig-zag technology.
A counsel on behalf of the brick kiln industry association objected to the closure of the brick kiln industry and undertaking given by the law officer.
However, the court rejected the objection and observed that in the larger public interest no concession could be given to the brick kiln industry. The court observed that the brick kiln industry would have to operate after the eradication of smog provided it installs zig-zag technology while adjourning further hearing till Nov 2. - APP