Lahore        -      The Lahore High Court on Thursday disposed of a petition directing the Punjab Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) to implement the environmental laws against the brick kiln industry emitting pollution and contributing to smog. The judgement was reserved on August 2 and announced yesterday by Justice Sardar Ahmad Naeem in open court as Justice Tariq Salim Sheikh is on Multan bench. In the 21-page judgement, Justice Tariq Salim Sheikh also directed the Punjab government to make the brick kiln industry adapt to zigzag technology. The court further directed that the secretary mines and director general mines not to give right to excavate sand to any brick kiln factory owner without NOC. The judge directed the secretary mines that mines and minerals beneath and on the surface belong to the government and are nobody’s private property. Hence the brick kiln industry should obtain no objection certificate from the mines department before claiming a right to extract or excavate sand from the beneath the surface of the land as mines and minerals belong to the government. The court also directed the Punjab government to legislate in order to bring the brick kiln industry under Punjab Mines and Mineral Concession Rules 2002 as sand or soil used for manufacturing of a brick is a precious mineral. Meanwhile, Sheraz Zaka Advocate appeared as amicus curiae and argued that mines and minerals on the land and beneath the surface are owned by the government as mentioned in Punjab Land Revenue Act 1967. He argued that public trust doctrine states that resources including sand used to manufacture brick belong to the public and government is a trustee hence cannot be used under private ownership unless or until requisite approval is obtained from the Minerals Department under Punjab Mines and Mineral Rules 2002.