Lahore      -          The Lahore High Court on Friday again directed the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) director general to submit a report on the plantation of saplings.

Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh expressed his resentment when the PHA DG appeared in personal capacity without data on the plantation of saplings in violation of the court’s earlier orders. However, he gave assurance to the court that on January 9, the next date of hearing, he would come up with sufficient data.

The judge was also disappointed when no one appeared on behalf of Agriculture Department to submit a report on conversion of cotton growing areas into sugarcane fields. The judge expressed concerns that cotton growing areas have been converted into sugarcane fields resulting in depletion of water table underground.

The court also expressed his resentment that Pakistan is going to face water crisis due to the vested interest of sugar barons. The court directed the PHA DG to apprise the court regarding the measures taken for the plantation in Lahore city.

The court was apprised by the law officer that motor vehicular emission regulations have been formulated. The matters of implementation of the regulations and taking action against the companies producing poor quality fuel would be taken up in the Environmental Protection Council’s meeting scheduled for Jan 2, 2020.

The court observed that poor fuel quality is contributing to pollution. The court directed the Punjab govt to take all measures regarding plantation of trees and implement of its forest policy.

The judge observed that Punjab govt should take every possible step to implement the judgements of superior courts regarding plantation of trees. The court directed the govt to submit reports to adhere to environmental laws and international treaties namely United Nations climate change convention 1992 and Paris Agreement 2015.

Azhar siddique and sheraz Zaka represented the petitioners who pleaded before the court that the govt’s equipment to measure air quality index is not in accordance with World Health Organisation’s criteria.