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Lahore smog: Crackdown on smoke-emitting factories, vehicles ordered

smog

LAHORE: Commissioner Lahore, Zulfiqar Ghuman has ordered a crackdown on smoke-emitting vehicles factories in a bid to reduce the heavy smog that blankets Lahore during winters.

The Commissioner said action in accordance with the law should be taken against those who burn waste from kilns, he added, noting that a joint team would conduct anti-smog operations across Lahore six days a week.

According to the commissioner, at least 462 vehicles were fined and 45 impounded over the past 20 days. In total, the fines imposed on smoke-emitting vehicles amounted to Rs375, 000.

Zulfiqar Ahmad Ghuman ordered that the factories that emit smoke despite clear instructions should be sealed. The Excise and Taxation Department has directed to launch a crackdown on smoke-emitting vehicles.

The agriculture department was asked to ensure clearance of crops leftover in the fields; the Urban Unit was ordered to monitor the brick kilns and industries emitting hazardous smoke, besides improving the capacity building of the environment department.

Earlier, Lahore High Court (LHC) on 3 October had directed the authorities concerned to enhance the fine on smoke-emitting vehicles from Rs200 to Rs2,000 in addition to their impounding for three days.

Justice Shahid Karim was hearing a case regarding the likely smog in Punjab, particularly in Lahore, during the upcoming winter season and the government’s failure to curb it.

As the hearing started, Syed Kamal Haider advocate, a focal person for a smog commission formed by a court, furnished recommendations, stating that plying of motorcycle-rickshaws on The Mall must be banned and fine on smoke-emitting vehicles should be increased to up to Rs2,000 along with their impounding for three days.

The commission further recommended that the finance department should be asked to table smog-related bills before the cabinet, which would pave the way for its presentation before the assembly to become a law.

The judge accepted the recommendations and had directed the authorities concerned to ensure the implementation of the recommendations. He also asked the authorities to enhance fine and impound smoke-emitting vehicles for three days.