While hearing a plea expressing grave concern over prevailing smog in provincial capital on Wednesday Lahore High Court issued directives for institutional arrangements to disseminate smog awareness campaign through television channels.
A petition has been filed before the LHC alleging the people at the helm of affairs failed to take measures to curb smog in Lahore. Taking up the petition on Wednesday, a single-member bench of Justice Shahid Karim plainly observed saying the managers should take tangible measures to address the smog whereas the provincial government has been directed to restrain from publicity that it has launched awareness plan on smog.
The bench asked the provincial government to launch awareness campaign about smog amid directing Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) to provide the awareness content to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for dissemination of the campaign.
Responding to the bench’s query as to why the smog not being cleared from the city, a director of the PDMA submitted that low temperature in the vicinity was one of the major reasons to cause smog, claiming the smog will come to an end in few days.
Appearing before the bench, mayor Lahore submitted that brick kilns were still running saying the smoke blackens clothes dark, when a person stands near these (brick kilns). He further apprised the court about measures taken to address the smog issue saying encroachments have been removed, traffic rules were made, fines were enhanced but still the smog persists, alleging the government was not taking steps to resolve the issue. Mayor Lahore submitted the vehicles are not being stopped, as there are long queues of vehicles owing to M-tag restriction.
The city mayor pleaded to reduce fine on vehicular over violation of one-way under the reason that financially the fine amount Rs500 was a burden to a layman, however, the bench turned down the plea observing people should avoid violating traffic laws.
During adjudication of the matter, the bench observed the court has to examine the reasons behind smog and then to measures to reduce smog in the city because it was effecting lives of the people at risk. The court also expressed its satisfaction over the action taken against the encroachments in the city and asked the concerned authority to place traffic plan before the court during next date of hearing. After directives in the matter, the bench adjourned hearing of the case till December 16.
Ashi Hussain is a law graduate and associated with TLTP News Wire Service as correspondent since 2020.