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Why health emergency not enforced despite intense smog, asks LHC

LAHORE – Hearing the case against smog in Punjab on Tuesday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) sought details of policy to curb smog from the provincial health and environment departments.

The LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah expressed his rage at the officials, stating that they have endangered the lives of innocent residents while only posing to hold special meetings regarding pollution.

Specialised health secretary Najam Shah told the court that health emergency was not announced because no patients affected by smog arrived in the hospitals. LHC CJ became furious at the argument and asked whether they are waiting for people to get sick first. “You’re sleeping while Punjab is under (dense) smog,” he said.

Environment secretary Captain (retd) Saif Anjum also appeared before court and said that the monitoring was started on October 24. According to five air pointer devises installed at different places, it was found that the air quality index of different areas in Punjab has reached 358.

Justice Shah asked the officials whether they took any steps to prevent the smog after the AGI crossed 300 to which they responded with the recent developments. He criticised the departments for giving newspaper ads without proper research, adding that smog causes heart diseases.

The LHC CJ declared the situation alarming and asked the departments to provide their policies and steps against smog.

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