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Sunday, May 26, 2024

LHC Imposes Strict Cafeteria Curfew in Smog-Ridden Lahore

LHC has taken a significant action by issuing an order to tackle the prevailing smog crisis, mandating the closure of cafes in Johar Town by 10 pm.

In a significant move to address the alarming smog crisis in Lahore, the Lahore High Court (LHC) issued a directive on Friday, instructing the closure of all cafes in Johar Town by 10 pm daily.

This stringent measure, emphasizing the need to curb activities contributing to air pollution, comes as part of the broader effort to combat escalating pollution levels in the city. Johar Town, known for its plethora of cafes, is now under the strict curfew, with an exception allowing cafes to operate until 11 pm exclusively on weekends.

Justice Shahid Karim, while hearing environment-related petitions, warned that cafes found violating these regulations would face immediate closure, underlining the court’s determination to enforce these measures.

The LHC’s order extends beyond cafes, directing Deputy Commissioners to seal factories contributing to environmental degradation and requiring detailed reports highlighting their efforts to combat smog for upcoming hearings.

Justice Karim expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the city’s director-general of the environment department and criticized extensive road excavation in Lahore. He voiced strong disapproval of smoke-emitting factories, stating, “Smog won’t come under control no matter whatever is done,” emphasizing the critical need for effective anti-smog measures.

The judge questioned the allocation of funds for road construction, suggesting they could have been better used to address the pressing issue of smog control. Justice Karim commended the initiative for a cycle rally in Lahore on November 26, appreciating symbolic efforts to tackle the peak of pollution.

Following these arguments, the hearing was adjourned until December 4, leaving a pivotal decision that could set a precedent in the battle against air pollution.

Read More: Punjab Takes Bold Measures to Combat Smog Crisis: Schools Closed, Artificial Rain, and Electric Bikes Announced

The LHC’s directive aligns with broader measures taken by the provincial government to combat the smog crisis. The Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority had earlier issued a notification enforcing “restricted movement” in various divisions, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, and Sargodha.

This initiative included the closure of markets, shops, and restaurants until 3 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, with offices opening after 3 pm on Saturdays. The decision also extended to the closure of educational institutions on Friday and Saturday.

Despite these efforts, the worsening smog situation led to the implementation of a smart lockdown in ten districts of Punjab, including Lahore. The closure of educational institutions aimed to curb the smog menace, with the caretaker government taking strong notice of the situation.

Face masks were made mandatory, and market timings were revised in an attempt to gain public compliance with anti-smog measures. The ongoing struggle to tackle smog highlights the severity of the situation, urging swift and comprehensive actions to protect public health.