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November 12, 2019

Any negligence to control smog not to be tolerated: LHC


November 12, 2019

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Monday observed that any negligence on part of the government to control smog will not be tolerated.

Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh was hearing a petition questioning the alleged failure of the government to implement statutory laws relating to environment and to deal with smog like condition.

Justice Sheikh remarked that to protect environment was a fundamental duty of the government and the court will not tolerate any negligence in this regard.

Representing the petition by Judicial Activism Panel, its chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique argued that the executive failed to perform its constitutional duty and in such event courts had their role to protect the rights of the people.

He said the provincial metropolis and other cities faced smog due to inaction of the government. He pointed out that Environment Protection Department (EPD) recently installed five air quality monitoring stations in Lahore worth Rs86 million. He said unfortunately it appeared that the EPD was bent upon reporting forged data or at least its instruments wee malfunctioning as experts’ suggested that the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Lahore reported by the authorities was inaccurate.

The lawyer stated thatthe government showed a cavalier attitude towards environmental issues as impact of its many ‘development’ schemes had been contributing huge amounts of dust into the air. He claimed that the World Health Origination ranked Lahore among top most polluted cities in the world.

He urged the court to direct the government to furnish all remedial measures had been taken to address the prevailing condition of smog in the province. He asked the court to order the government to implement practice of monitoring ecology, plantation of trees, maintenance of public parks, grounds, green cover etc. The judge sought reply from the government and adjourned hearing for Tuesday (today).

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