LAHORE: Lahore High Court Justice Shahid Karim on Monday ordered the government to close all schools and colleges in Punjab on Saturday as provincial authorities failed to stop the smog.
The LHC judge’s directions came today during a hearing related to the steps taken by the Punjab government to control air pollution which has reached dangerous levels in recent times.
While reprimanding the Lahore Commissioner, the judge also ordered to implement the policy of working from home two days a week.
He commented, “The Lahore Commissioner has completely failed to control smog. He talks big but nothing happens on the ground. Just a notification is issued to shut down everything.”
Justice Karim also ordered the immediate removal of Deputy Commissioners in Sheikhupura Jhang, Hafizabad, Khanewal, Nankana and Bahawalnagar, saying the situation in these districts was very bad. He ordered the Chief Secretary of Punjab to immediately issue a notification for the transfer of the above mentioned officers.
The judge also ordered the removal of the Director General Environment.
“The videos being shared of burning of crop residues are extremely disappointing,” he said.
The judge remarked that everything has been closed down through a notification, adding that after the government’s announcement all officers go on leave.
The judge said that if traffic stops for five minutes, the entire city gets disrupted. “Most smog is caused by vehicle exhaust.”
Lahore Development Authority (LDA) lawyer said that the provincial government constructed an underpass in only 70 days.
“The smoke that will arise after this construction will affect us during winters. You may have become the underpass expert, but consider other matters as well,” he said.
Justice Karim ordered the commission member to hold a meeting with the Punjab Chief Secretary and inform him about the court orders.
The court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.
More to follow…