Lahore - The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought till November 28 the Punjab government’s policy on smog control in the province.

The court sought report pertaining to the steps taken to stop diesel-powered vehicles.

Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh was hearing the petition filed against the alleged failure of the government to implement laws pertaining environment and to control smog.

The court asked whether the government was taking steps against smog or not. It seems that the equipment evaluating smog was not working properly and there are variations in the Air Quality Index, the court remarked. The government is not sincere to control smog and as per a report compiled by Dr Pervaiz Hassan, even these “insincere” steps were not being implemented, petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddiq said.

Had the Smog Commission report been implemented, the people would not have faced the current situation, the counsel said. Govt rep informed the court that various committees on smog. The court then asked the government to file a report on performance of these  committees and also asked why the vehicles were not being converted to electricity from diesel. The deputy attorney general replied that the government was devising a policy. Earlier the court observed that protected environment is the fundamental right of the people and duty of the government and the court would not tolerate any negligence in this respect.

The petitioner told the court that cities faced smog due to inaction of the government. “The EPD recently installed five Rs86 million air quality monitoring stations in Lahore, but it the EPD reported forged data and its instruments were not up to mark. The government showed a cavalier attitude towards the matter.”

Also on Tuesday, the ANF withdrew a petition challenging trial court’s orders summoning video record of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) and Call Data Record (CDR) of an investigation officer in a narcotics case against PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah. The bench disposed of the petition as withdrawn after a prosecutor sought permission to withdraw the case.