Update On Smog Policy
The Punjab Environment Protection Department recently informed the Lahore High Court that the Chief Minister had signed a ‘smog policy’ and the notification of the policy was to be made in the official gazette. A representative of the department also presented the initial draft of the policy to the court.
The draft contained provisions such as the expansion of the monitoring system and the enforcement of the Pollution Charge Rules of 2001 along with other pertinent environmental laws. In addition, the policy proposed the upgrade of the central laboratory and checks and balance that would be introduced in collaboration with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on industrial units emitting greenhouse gas emissions.
Campaigns to increase awareness on all media forums regarding protective measures would be launched and such awareness campaigns would also be conducted in educational institutions where children are likely to suffer from the issue at hand.
The public interest petition in regards to the matter was filed by Advocate Sheraz Zaka last year after members of the community had been affected by the dense smog that took over around winter time. He argued that the lack of implementation of environmental laws and the lack of an adequately operating central laboratory in Lahore were the reasons the issue had escalated. He further argued that the government had not taken any appropriate measures to address the environmental concern.