LHC sends brick kilns’ plea against shutdown to environment official

LHC sends brick kilns’ plea against shutdown to environment official

LAHORE: A bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday sent a petition against shutdown of brick kilns to the provincial secretary of environment, ARY News reported.

The court directed the secretary environment department to review and act on the plea according to the law.

A bench comprised of Justice Ayisha A. Malik today heard petition of brick kiln owners, who had challenged the government’s decision to shutdown their businesses to control smog.

The counsel of brick kiln owners argued that the government’s decision of closing brick kilns increasing unemployment.

The petition sought the court decision to declare the government’s brick kiln shutdown notification as void.

The bench sent the petition to the provincial secretary of environment to look into the matter and decide it according to the law.

The court in hearing of the case yesterday said that "It is our collective responsibility to take steps for addressing the smog problem."

"Several brick kiln owners have submitted affidavits that they would close their businesses until December 31," Justice Malik said.

"How can you oppose those who had stated on oath for shutdown of brick kilns," the court asked.

The smoke produced by automobiles, brick kilns and stubble burning in agriculture areas converts into smog during the month of November with falling temperature.

The concentration of smog remains very high in rice producing areas of Punjab including Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Gujrat and Sialkot during November, causing low visibility which results in scores of road mishaps, disturbance in flights and train schedules etc.