The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered authorities concerned to take strict action against vehicles emitting excess levels of pollution, as it continued proceedings into petitions seeking steps to curtail smog.
However, Justice Shahid Karim granted conditional approval for continuing construction work on the Babu Sabu interchange project, which critics have said boosts air pollution due to uncovered construction material.
According to IQAir, Lahore has the highest levels of smog globally, with PM2.5 concentration up to 26.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline. The city’s situation always worsens during winter, with residents often complaining of various ailments as smog levels rise.
During Friday’s hearing, Lahore Commissioner Muhammad Ali Randhawa informed the court that a warning had been issued to factories in Kasur, adding that surprise visits would be conducted to implement the court’s orders to reduce their emissions. He said efforts were also underway to raise awareness among the masses for an ongoing plantation drive. He also maintained that a ban had been imposed on digging roads without prior approval.
Justice Karim regretted that when the court imposed fines, environmental officials reduced them after manipulation. He observed that if a smoke-emitting industry does not curtail its activities after a fine, it should be demolished.