The Lahore High Court has summoned the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Director General to answer a number of questions raised in a petition highlighting violation of Pollution Charge Rules.
As the court resumed hearing, Advocate Sheraz Zaka appeared on behalf of the petitioner and argued that blatant violation of Pollution Charge Rules had been taking place and the EPA DG did not submit a report regarding compliance of the court’s previous order.
The counsel said Pakistan ratified the United Nations Climate Change Convention 1992 and in the Paris Conference in 2015, the government pledged to enforce the provisions of environmental laws but practically no implementation had been made.
The legal adviser for the agency sought time to submit a compliance report.
Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah expressed his dismay and directed the EPA DG to appear in the court on March 29.
In a previous order, the judge had directed the EPA to enforce Pollution Charge Rules by forming an inquiry committee in collaboration with Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Zubair Niazi of the PTI and Muhammad Naeem had filed the petition questioning vires of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Initial Environmental Examination Rules.
The petitioners, through their counsel, stated the EPA and other authorities failed to perform their statutory obligations and there was neither any existence nor any implementation of Pollution Charge Rules 2001.
They said the historical city of Lahore was becoming one of the most polluted cities of the world due to non-implementation of the rules.
This news was previously published in DAWN and is being republished here with permission.