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LHC judge orders govt to impose smog emergency in Lahore immediately

Tooba Shakir 7 months ago 0 0

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A view of Lahore blanketed by smog on October 28. — Online
A view of Lahore blanketed by smog on October 28. — Online
  • LHC judge blames incumbent govt for smog in Lahore. 
  • Asks govt not to de-seal factories emitting black smoke. 
  • Ask school, college students to inform authorities of such factories. 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday blamed the incumbent government for the current situation in Lahore due to the smog and ordered the administration to impose a citywide emergency.

The orders were issued when the LHC took up pleas seeking the court’s intervention in the matter.

During today’s hearing, Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhwa and other officers appeared before the court.

The court directed the government not to de-seal factories that are responsible for black smoke and directed school and college students to inform the authorities of such factories. 

It also ordered the commissioner and other officers to visit schools and colleges to inform students about the decision regarding factories that emit black smoke.

“The government is responsible for the current situation of smog,” observed Justice Shahid Karim. While addressing the officers, the judge told them to look at the city’s situation and reminded them that they were the owners of the city and in a position to do something about it.

“Previously, the smog started to affect the city at the end of November and December, but now it has started in October,” observed Justice Karim. While ordering the imposition of emergency, he added that smog was not his personal problem but related to kids as well.

The judge then adjourned the hearing till November 3.

According to a report published in The News today, smog has turned the provincial metropolis into a “poisonous gas chamber” where citizens were facing serious health problems as the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 255.

Tuesday was the third consecutive day when Lahore was on top of the world’s most polluted cities.

Sources in the district administration claimed that on Tuesday, the VVIP movement was very high in the city as the caretaker PM along with the caretaker CM visited various ongoing development projects due to which, various traffic signals were turned to manual and traffic was stopped and resulted in extra-vehicular emissions on the city roads.

Sources in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that a number of furnaces in northern Lahore were operating at night and using sub-standard fuel such as rubber tyres, plastic and other materials while many other factories in different industrial estates of the city were also contributing to rising air pollution.

The sources said that a very half-hearted campaign was started against smoky vehicles and EPA’s claims of using PSCA cameras to take action against smoke-emitting vehicles was just a statement. 

An increase in fine particles (PM2.5) was the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in Lahore on Tuesday and several citizens interviewed by The News on roads claimed they were facing many health problems.

Health experts said that the size of particles was directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. 

Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems because they can go deep into the lungs and some may even get into bloodstream. ‘Exposure to such particles can affect both lungs and heart,’ said Dr Tariq Chishti, a general physician.

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