SC directs govts to take concrete steps for checking environmental pollution


The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the federal and provincial governments to take concrete steps for controlling environmental pollution in the country.

Expressing dissatisfaction over reports presented by the federal and provincial governments regarding steps taken by them for controlling the pollution, the three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali sought report on practical measures adopted by them on next date of hearing.

The reports were submitted by the Federation’s counsel and Additional Advocate Generals (AAGs) in compliance with the court’s earlier orders.

After examining the reports, the Chief Justice termed the same unsatisfactory. The court, he remarked, had been seized with the public interest matter since 2003, but no tangible effort seemed to have been made by the authorities concerned.

The Sindh AAG informed the court that the provincial government had issued notices to cement factories, water treatment plants, hospitals and other violators which were spreading pollution.

The Chief Justice observed that even after passage of 13 years the governments were still talking of issuance of notices but practical efforts were zero.

How many cases were instituted against those who were responsible for environmental pollution, he questioned. Justice Ejaz Afzal remarked that angels would not come to resolve such problems, the officials concerned should be taken to task for this omission.

The AAG Punjab apprised the court that magistrates had been appointed in 36 districts who were taking stern action against polluters.

Out of 2,228 complaints, he said, 561 had been addressed with millions of rupees fine imposed on the violators.

The AAG Balochistan told the court that some 12,000 rickhaws in the province had been converted in to compressed natural gas (CNG) whereas slaughter houses, waste management plants and water treatment plants in Quetta had been shifted outside the city.

The Director General Environment Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed the bench that a plan had been devised to plant one billion trees in the province.

The case was adjourned till first week of January 2016.