LHC orders Punjab govt to submit revised smog policy within three months

The Lahore Court on Saturday directed the Punjab government to prepare and submit a revised policy on the issue of smog in the province in three months.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Sheraz Raza against the government’s failure to take effective steps to contain smog.
LHC chief justice Mansoor Ali Shah in a written interim order chided the government for wasting time on collecting data instead of taking steps for citizen’s health.
The order said that the smog index has reached a dangerous level in the province and directed the government to immediately implement the health emergency plan.
Relevant departments should create awareness about smog among citizens and ensure practical steps to rid the province of smog, Justice Shah said.
The order also directs the government to clarify the role of health and education departments in the revised smog policy, besides asking the Met department to issue smog score on its website.
The court adjourned the hearing until December 18.
Smog in the provincial capital this month crossed all the international benchmarks as PM2.5 level, which is termed the most dangerous pollutant in the air across the world, remained between 450ug/m3 and 500ug/m3 against the notified standards of 35ug/m3 per day.
As per World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, the daily average level of PM2.5 should not be more than 10ug/m3 and aggregated annual mean 25ug/m3 in a day whereas as per a gazette notification of the Punjab government, the daily limit of PM2.5 is 15ug/m3 and aggregated annual mean 35ug/m3 per day.