LHC orders replacement of environment officers

Action taken in response to inadequate measures to combat smog

APP April 20, 2024


The Lahore High Court (LHC) issued directives to the authorities concerned on Friday for the replacement of three officers from the environment department due to their failure to address environmental pollution effectively.

The court instructed the director-general of Environment to promptly replace the deputy directors of environment in Lahore and Sheikhupura, as well as an assistant director of Environment in Lahore. Additionally, the court mandated taking disciplinary action against them under the PEEDA ACT.

Justice Shahid Karim issued these orders during the hearing of petitions filed by Haroon Farooq and others concerning inadequate measures to combat smog. Initially, members of the Judicial Water and Environment Commission and the law officers of the relevant departments appeared before the court and submitted reports.

Hina Hafeezullah, a commission member, presented a report stating that factories previously sealed for environmental violations were allowed to operate again in collaboration with Environment department officials.

Expressing grave concern over this revelation, the court demanded the immediate replacement of the implicated officers and the director-general of Environment Punjab. However, upon a request from the commission member, the court granted an opportunity for the director-general of Environment to present their case.

During the proceedings, the court also inquired about the plans of the Central Business District (CBD) Punjab for a 100-acre area. The CBD lawyer revealed that the CBD was executing a project for the Punjab government.

The commission member informed the court about the alarming trend of housing societies encroaching on agricultural land, posing potential food security threats.

In response, Justice Shahid Karim underscored the gravity of the situation and urged the government to address it earnestly. The CBD lawyer highlighted the proliferation of illegal housing societies around Lahore, emphasizing the need for a coherent policy to regulate them. Consequently, the court adjourned further proceedings until the next week and requested implementation reports.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2024.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ