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Stop littering at public places or face Rs200 fine: LHC

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday expressed serious concern over environmental pollution and directed the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) to impose a fine of Rs200 on those who litter at public places.

“Pakistan, like many other parts of the world, is confronting environmental pollution,” remarked Justice Shahid Karim, who was seized with the hearing of petitions seeking directives for the authorities concerned to take measures to combat smog.

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As the proceedings commenced, PHA Director General (DG) Umar Jahangir appeared before the court. Officials of the Judicial Water Commission were also there.

Addressing the DG, Justice Karim asked, “Why is there so much littering in the parks? The DG replied, “I’m newly appointed and took charge just two weeks ago.”

At this, Justice Karim snubbed the officer and reminded him of his responsibilities. “Your responsibility is so big. You may go if you can’t deliver,” Justice Karim remarked.

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The judge also observed that all state institutions should work together because environmental pollution is a challenge for Pakistan.

The judge observed that the role of PHA is very important and asked the PHA officer to ensure the presence of their representative in the court. “The environmental problems are badly affecting our health,” the judge remarked. The petitions, filed by local citizens, had submitted that environmental threat is a serious hazard to the country.

They added that the authorities concerned were not taking any action to tackle smog and air pollution. They said that littering at public places was very common but the authorities concerned were reluctant to take action. They asked the court to direct the authorities concerned to take strict action against those violating environmental laws and direct them to take measures to control smog and related problems in the city.

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