- Desperate times call for desperate measures, says LHC judge.
- PDMA official says a decline has been observed in AQI during last week.
- Judge warns PDMA, other institutions to be prepared for lockdown if AQI does not improve.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has hinted at ordering a weeklong lockdown in the city for schools and offices due to the deteriorating air quality in the city, as per a report in The News.
Justice Shahid Karim was hearing several public interest petitions on Lahore’s air quality index (AQI). Over the past week, Lahore was ranked as the most polluted city in the world as per the AQQI rankings.
The judge said that desperate times call for desperate measures, adding that a health emergency must be imposed in Lahore to deal with the situation.
A director of the Punjab Disaster Management Authority told the court that there had been a decline in the smog during the last week. He hoped that the smog would continue to decrease in the next week.
A judicial water commission submitted a report, telling the court it had issued notices to 47 sugar mills for causing air pollution and not installing water treatment plants.
Advocate Azhar Siddique, on behalf of a petitioner, argued that the provincial government had not been performing its statutory obligations to control pollution.
Representing another petitioner, Advocate Sheraz Zaka said the commissioner must close down factories causing air pollution and smog. He said the government also failed to punish individuals involved in stubble burning.
The LHC judge praised the traffic police for managing traffic congestion in the city and ensuring the free flow of traffic.
Justice Karim adjourned the hearing till next week, warning the PDMA and other institutions to be prepared for a lockdown by the next hearing if the air quality index does not improve.
Separately, Justice Karim disposed of multiple petitions directing the police not to interfere in the lawful business of oil depots alleged to have been involved in selling adulterated oil products of low quality and hence contributing towards air pollution.