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Save people’s lives from smog, pollution; LHC directs Usman Buzdar govt

Justice Shahid Karim of Lahore High Court directed the Punjab government to take steps to curb smog and air pollution, which was making lives of citizens miserable.

Judge directed the government to submit a report within a week regarding measures taken to curb smog.

Judge observed that the provincial government should make maximum efforts to allocate funds and enhance the capacity of EPA.

Judge while hearing a public interest petition moved by a lawyer Sheraz Zaka. Petitioner submitted that Lahore was becoming one of the most polluted cities in the world and due to urban development and trees cutting, pollution levels and smog in winter rose to exponential height.

He said that the Punjab environmental protection agency failed to perform its statutory obligations and enforce pollution charge rules and the federal government was flouting its international obligations under Paris Agreement 2015. He asserted that the Punjab government was responsible for the chaotic situation in Lahore which was enveloped with smog and people are becoming sick especially facing breathing issues and sore throat.

He requested that the provincial government and environmental protection agency should be asked whether the industrial activity taking place in the city was being scrutinized under Pollution Charge Rules 2001 or the agency is performing its statutory obligations. He also requested to inquire from the authorities as to what remedial measures have been taken to address the prevailing weather condition arising from the toxic smog.

Earlier an environmental protection department legal officer apprised that government had taken all measures to control smog. He submitted that currently three air monitoring units were functional whereas it was making efforts for establishment of more air monitoring units and taking speedy measures to curb smog.

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