LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed Advocate General of Punjab (AGP) Ahmad Awais to apprise Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi about the seriousness of the smog and other environmental issues.

Justice Shahid Karim was hearing petitions filed by Haroon Farooq and others on multiple environmental issues including air pollution.

AGP Awais and Additional Advocate General Salman Tipu Makhdoom appeared before the court.

The judge observed that the smog had become a matter of concern as it hit the provincial metropolis every year.

He asked the AGP to personally discuss the matter with the chief minister so that concrete and speedy steps could be taken by the government functionaries.

The judge also directed the principal law officer to submit a progress report on the next hearing in light of the meeting with the chief minister.

Earlier, a lawyer on behalf of the petitioners told the court that the incidents of stubble burning in Sheikhupura and nearby localities of Faisalabad motorway had been reported frequently.

He said the government had failed to control the stubble burning despite a strict direction by the court.

Previously, Justice Karim had directed all the deputy commissioners (DCs) in Punjab to lodge cases and impose a fine of Rs200,000 on farmers for stubble burning in their respective districts.

The judge also highlighted the role of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) saying the world including Pakistan was facing a challenge of climate change. The judge directed the authority to impose a fine of Rs200 on littering in public parks especially in Bagh-i-Jinnah.

The other day, Lahore was spotted as the most polluted city in the world with hazardous levels of air quality index.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2022

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