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LHC gives two weeks to end use of plastic bags

By Our Correspondent
March 07, 2020

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Friday extended its ban on the use of plastic bags to all stores, bakeries and hotels of the provincial metropolis giving them two-week deadline to phase it out.

Justice Shahid Karim observed that scope of the ban would be expanded to other cities of Punjab province in second phase. The judge was hearing a public interest petition represented by Barrister Abuzar Salman Niazi when Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed its compliance report on enforcement of the ban in mega stores and bakeries.

The petitioner’s counsel pointed out that several hotels in the city had also been using plastic bags. The judge directed the EPA to ensure ban on the use of polythene bags at all stores, bakeries and hotels of the city after a grace period of two weeks.

Meanwhile, lawyers of different bottled water manufacturing companies made their appearance as the judge, on last hearing, had issued notices to them for selling water in plastic bottles.

“The court will need your assistance on growing use of glass bottles in many parts of the world,” Justice Karim said to Advocate Salman Akram Raja, the counsel for a beverage company.

The counsel assured the court of his best assistance in the matter. The judge asked the counsels of the water companies to tell the court, on next hearing, as to how long it will take to abandon the use of plastic bottles.

Justice Karim had previously observed that the whole world had already given up selling water in plastic bottles and switched to glass. Further hearing was adjourned until March 13.

TRAFFIC JAM: Hearing another matter relating to traffic management in the city, Justice Karim took notice of traffic jams during PSL matches and holidays announced at FC College due to the cricket tournament.

The judge summoned details of traffic plan from chief traffic officer and capital city police officer Lahore over traffic jam during Pakistan Super League matches in City.

He warned that if a comprehensive traffic plan was not presented by the police a stay order could be issued against the PSL matches. Justice Karim noted with regret that the whole city was closed down during matches causing problems to commuters.

The judge remarked that generators were being used for floodlights in the stadium and on roads during matches, which emitted toxic gases and particles in the air. When asked, Barrister Niazi confirmed to the court that the FC College had been closed due to the matches. The judge summoned details of educational institutions closed due to the matches and adjourned hearing until March 13.