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Poor Air Quality Index: LHC hints at a weeklong lockdown for schools, offices

02 Dec, 2021
A judicial water commission also submitted its report before the court. File photo
A judicial water commission also submitted its report before the court. File photo

The Lahore High Court on Wednesday hinted at a weeklong lockdown for schools and private offices in the provincial metropolis due to poor Air Quality Index (AQI) and directed the Punjab Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) officials and others to come prepared for the lockdown if the AQI remained poor.

The court adjourned the proceedings in petitions on the environmental issues till next week and observed that the air quality index aggravated to dangerous levels which made the entire city one of most polluted in the world.

The court further observed that desperate times call for desperate measures and a health emergency must be imposed in the entire city.

Earlier, a director of the PDMA 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 one week.

A judicial water commission also submitted its report before the court disclosing that notices had been issued to 47 sugar mills in the province for causing air pollution and not installing water treatment plants.

Azhar Siddique advocate, on behalf of a petitioner, argued that the provincial government had not been performing its statutory obligations to control pollution.

Representing another petitioner, Sheraz Zaka also 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.

Lord Mayor Lahore also informed the court about steps taken against engrossment in the city. He said several blocked roads had been reopened for traffic. The court however lauded the efforts of traffic police for controlling traffic congestion and allowing free flow of traffic.

This article was first published in Business Recorder on Dec 2, 2021.