CDGK needs more time to show SHC report

Ppi May 14, 2010

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court adjourned on Friday the hearing of a petition against the construction of flyovers on Signal-Free Corridor IV, as the City District Government of Karachi has sought more time to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

The CDGK’s lawyer Murtaza Wahab submitted that they had already applied for the EIA and were waiting for permission. NGO Shehri has challenged the construction of the flyovers along Shahrah-i-Faisal. It argues that according to the rules if a project costs over one billion rupees it needs an environmental assessment report before it can be started. However, the CDGK launched the project allegedly in violation of the provisions of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, EIA Regulations 2000 and the Initial Environmental Examination.

Barrister Abdur Rahman submitted that the CDGK was continuing with the construction at some locations of the proposed corridor without following the relevant laws. He contended that the Environmental Impact Assessment, as declared mandatory in environmental laws, was not carried out before the construction work was started. This, as a result, he argued, will cause serious environmental and health hazardous to the lives of citizens.

On Friday, the SHC’s Nazir, who was earlier appointed to inspect the projects, filed a report that said the construction was being carried out in accordance with an approved plan. The flyover ramps measured 19 feet and the requirement is 18 feet according to Regulations 2002. The SHC’s division bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Tufail H Ebrahim said that whatever the case may be, let the matter come up with another identical petition as the same issue was pending consideration before another division bench of the SHC. It ordered the office of the court to fix the matter before the same bench.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.