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October 4, 2019

LHC seeks detail of decisions taken to avert smog

Lahore

October 4, 2019

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Thursday sought details of decisions taken by Punjab chief secretary to avert smog in the coming winter season.

Justice Shahid Karim was hearing a petition seeking a ban on operation of brick-kilns and crops residue burning in the province when a law officer stated that several decisions had been taken at a meeting headed by the chief secretary.

He said a ban had been put on burning of crops residue while brick-kilns owners had been warned of closure if they did not switch to zigzag technology.

Petitioner’s counsel Abuzar Salman Niazi pointed out that there were only two brick-kilns in the province running on zigzag technology. He said the main cause of the smog was the brick-kilns as they failed to use fuel-efficient technology. He said that the government should give subsidy on zigzag technology to encourage the brick-kilns.

He pointed out that as per a report of food and agriculture organisation of the UN Pakistan suffered one of the highest death tolls in the world from air pollution in 2015. He argued that it was highly important to stop functioning of brick-kilns, halt burning of crops and control emission from factories in the whole province to prevent the imminent threat of smog in the coming winter season.

He said the government needed to take immediate and effective precautionary measures to avoid smog crisis in coming months. Justice Karim deferred hearing for Friday (today) and directed the law officer to submit details of the decisions taken by the government.

Sana withdraws bail plea: The Lahore High Court on Thursday dismissed as withdrawn a bail petition of PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah in a drug smuggling case. At the outset of the hearing, Rana’s counsel Azam Nazir Tarar said the trail drug court had allowed them to review the CCTV footage of his client’s arrest which had changed the situation altogether.

The party members will be able to identify the cars after watching the footage. Therefore, he wanted to withdraw the application for the time being, he added. The lawyer said that they would also see whether the footage could be submitted in the court at the bail stage.

Justice Shahbaz Rizvi dismissed the case after the petition was withdrawn. The PML-N leader was arrested on July 1 for possession of drugs. ANF claimed to have seized 15 kilogramme heroin from Sanaullah’s car. The PML-N leader, on the other hand, has denied the charge.

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