LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sought a report from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on public service messages in the media about smog.

Justice Shahid Karim was hearing petitions questioning the failure of the government to implement the environmental laws.

Earlier, the motorway police informed the court that 124,000 vehicles had been issued M-Tags during the last 10 days.

The judge had ordered the police to ban entry of vehicles without M-Tag to the Lahore-Islamabad motorway as a measure to avoid long queues of the vehicles at the toll plazas that caused air pollution.

Justice Karim directed the Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA) to initiate legislation on plantations in small plazas and on high-rises to control air pollution. The judge also directed the PHA to ensure restoration of parks in the city.

The judge expressed concern at smog in Lahore, saying even after the school holidays, the air quality index had not improved. He directed the government to take more steps against vehicular and industrial emissions.

The judge noted that the mega development projects would further increase the heat densification in Lahore.

The city traffic police sought time to submit a traffic plan in the city during cricket matches in March.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Dec 29 and also directed Pemra to submit its report about the awareness campaign in the media regarding smog.

Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2021

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