LHC links Punjab’s e-bike scheme to NOC from EPD

LAHORE: In a recent decision, the Lahore High Court mandated on Friday that the Punjab administration’s project to grant electric bikes to pupils will be conditional on approval from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), necessitating an official No Objection Certificate (NOC).

During a session focused on combating the smog challenge, Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC underscored the critical nature of tackling the pervasive air pollution problem with urgency.

The judge scrutinized the province’s motorcycle giveaway scheme at the hearing, calling out the oversight of bypassing the mandatory environmental impact study as a legal violation. In light of this, the court has legally obliged the initiative to gain an environmental NOC before initiating bike distributions among students.

In a move to foster environmentally conscious infrastructure, the court has requested the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to present a report outlining the rejuvenation and arboreal care strategies for its seven sports complexes. Furthermore, the High Court has decreed a full revitalization and fortification of all urban parks in Lahore.

This regulation is a progression from a preceding session where Justice Karim had put the bike distribution program on hold through a stay order. He had then directed the Punjab administration to contrive an environmental strategy, to be paired with the scheme’s lottery mechanism for bike allocations. The court had then given counsel against the introduction of electric motorcycles, suggesting that electric buses might pose a superior, more ecologically friendly mode of transport for students. The judge also recommended the state to decrease the surge of traffic jams by supplying electric buses to academic institutions.

Furthermore, the High Court has enforced restrictions on the authorities not to comment publicly on matters that are under judicial consideration.

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