The Lahore High Court (LHC) has said that schools and private offices could be closed in light of the rapidly deteriorating smog situation in Lahore.
Justice Shahid Karim, while hearing multiple petitions of public interest, observed that the provincial capital had become one of the most polluted cities in the world, adding that a health emergency must be imposed to deal with the ongoing pollution crises.
The provincial administration apprised the court about the steps being taken to deal with the smog situation. The Mayor of Lahore, retired Colonel Mubashir Javed, told the court that several blocked roads have been opened for traffic. The water commission reported that notices had been issued to 47 sugar mills in the province that were causing air pollution. Punjab Disaster Management Authority director said that a decline has been observed in the levels of smog in the city this week and hopefully this trend will continue in the future.
Lawyers representing the petitioners also presented their arguments before the court. Advocate Azhar Siddique blamed the provincial government for the dire situation and said that the latter had failed to perform its duty of controlling pollution. Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued that the government must punish all those factories contributing to air pollution and take action against those involved in crop subtle burning.
Justice Karim adjourned the hearing till next week and warned the provincial and city administration to be prepared for a lockdown if the situation did not improve.