LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Friday linked the Punjab government scheme of distributing motorcycles among students with an NOC from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Justice Shahid Karim observed that not obtaining an environmental NOC before launching the motorcycle scheme was a criminal offense by the government.

“The pollution issue is serious and cannot be ignored,” the judge maintained.

The judge sought a detailed report on the scheme from the government by May 24 and also extended the stay order against the distribution of electric and petrol-run motorcycles among the students.

Separately, the judge directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to present a report on the restoration of seven sports complexes and the felling of trees in the city.

The judge remarked that fines should be imposed if necessary for the restoration and preservation of parks.

He also ordered the LDA to check illegal commercialisation, remove barriers and obstacles on roads, and review hefty fee for the membership of the sports complex, ensuring its activation.

Justice Karim said if the LDA lacked funds, it should collect maintenance fees from nearby residents as private housing societies also do so.

The judge expressed displeasure over the elimination of Bahria Town Rose Garden and sought a report from the LDA on trees felled in the society.

He instructed the allocation of a better place for relocating pet birds from Tollinton Market. He said the birds needed a suitable environment unaffected by climate changes.

Justice Karim made it clear that the court was not against the government policy but emphasised the need to consider measures to combat environment pollution.

The judge noted that the transport secretary had assured the court of providing buses for government employees and educational institutions.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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