From Our Correspondent
LAHORE: Irked by the Punjab government’s failure to submit details about the anti-smog steps Monday, Lahore High Court Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah summoned the environment secretary today along with complete record. Hearing a petition by Advocate Sheraz Zaka against environmental pollution and smog, the CJ expressed his dismay at negligence on the part of government over the matter. “The Punjab government’s performance appears to be limited to just official documents,” he remarked, adding that it was very awful that the environment department had no record of anti-smog steps. Barrister Sara Bilal, who was appointed as amicus curie, told the court that health emergency should be enforced due to smog in Punjab. Such department should be closed, she said. The chief justice observed that the government has not been working to cope with the challenge with the required pace. The CJ rued Pakistan has crossed the international limited set for pollution but the government has been dragging its feet over the mamter. Earlier, the environment department presented to the court the notified copy of the smog policy. Sheraz Zaka, the petitioner, made a request to the court to direct the authorities to adopt effective measures to fix the problem. In another petition about rivers’ sand, the Lahore High Court declared that environment department’s surveys are important for all projects of excavating sands from rivers. The court passed the order on petition moved by a company seeking action against local administration of the provincial capital for allegedly stopping it from excavating sand from the river Ravi and taking its machinery into custody.