LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday ordered the traffic police to impose Rs2,000 on-the-spot fine on motorists for violation of one-way on city roads.

Justice Shahid Karim further directed the police to place barriers of concrete on the roads to control violation of one-way by the motorists, especially the motorcyclists.

The judge was hearing multiple petitions relating to environmental issues, including smog.

He observed that issuing challans (fine tickets) to smoke-emitting vehicles was not enough and suggested confiscation of such vehicles on subsequent violations.

Justice Karim took exception to development projects launched by the caretaker Punjab government in Lahore. He questioned the launching of new projects during the period of September to January, which is a peak time of smog.

“So many development projects are being inaugurated as if the caretaker government will contest the next general election,” the judge expressed his astonishment.

The judge observed that new projects should be initiated in the month of February keeping in view their impact on the environment.

A counsel for the LDA told the court that 500 concrete barriers had been handed over to the traffic police. He said a cycle rally would be held on Sunday (tomorrow) at Liberty Chowk to create public awareness on smog. He said automobiles would not be allowed to ply on Gulberg roads during the two-hour rally.

A lawyer for a court-formed water commission stated that the caretaker government had permitted a free journey for students up to intermediate in the Orange Line Metro Train and the metro bus service. He pointed out that greenbelts had been removed for the widening of Maulana Shaukat Ali Road in Johar Town.

A legal adviser for the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) sought time to file a report on the matter.

The PHA additional director general tendered an apology and requested the court to withdraw a show-cause notice for contempt proceedings.

Justice Karim directed the officer to submit a written explanation.

The judge had initiated contempt proceedings against the PHA officer and restrained him from working for his failure to stop felling of trees in the city.

A law officer told the court that notices had been issued to 79 commercial buildings having no parking space. He said restaurants with no proper parking lots had also been served with notices.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2023

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