Tuesday Dec 06, 2022
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday sought a notification from the Punjab government tomorrow (Wednesday) for the closure of schools for three days weekly due to the worsening situation of smog.
The directives were issued by the court during the hearing of a case related to pollution and smog in Lahore and other Punjab cities.
During the hearing, the court ordered the Punjab government's lawyer to submit a notification regarding the closure of schools tomorrow.
On the last hearing, LHC Justice Shahid Karim observed that the provincial government seemed non-serious to curb smog.
Regretting that the smog had been increasing instead of eliminating, the judge directed the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to make rules to enhance punishment on the brick kilns and industries for violating the laws and policies.
“A brick kiln or a factory should not be sealed but demolished on committing violations,” the judge had recommended
The judge had observed that the smog had been causing health complications among the citizens and sought a report on the amendment or improvement in the existing rules to deal with the industrial sector.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi announced to impose environmental emergency in Lahore and other cities to deal with the situation of smog.
The chief minister said that smog has been declared disastrous and ordered to effectively implement the plan to reduce the smog.
"Action should be taken to control those factors that are causing smog," said CM Elahi, adding that failure to implement the standard operating procedure (SOPs) to reduce smog will not be tolerated.
The chief minister also announced a ban on stubble burning, saying that action will be taken against those caught burning the crops residue.
CM Elahi said that action will also be taken against the vehicles emitting smoke. He added that the anti-smog squad will constantly check the smoke-emitting vehicles in the city.
"The anti-smog squad will also check the vehicles at the entrance of the Lahore city," said the chief minister. He added that the farmers will be provided with a modern harvester called "Hepper Seed" to dispose of crop residues.
The chief minister said he has issued directives to transfer all brick kilns to zigzag technology. He also ordered that the environment, agriculture, industries and transport departments should conduct an anti-smog campaign continuously for three months.