Senator Mushahid Hussain has written to the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of a proposal that would destroy green belts on two Islamabad avenues to make way for the planned metro bus service.
Hussain, who is the convener of the senate sub-committee on environment, has also scheduled a public hearing of the sub-committee on March 17 to discuss the controversial proposal.
Nespak, the project consultant has suggested that the Rawalpindi-bound carriageway of the 9th Avenue be converted to a dedicated route for the metro bus. The green belt to the right of the carriageway will be flattened to make room for three new traffic lanes, according to the Nespak’s proposal.
Similarly, Jinnah Avenue will be widened by up to six metres, destroying the green belts on either side of the avenue.
The route alignments are apparently in violation of Islamabad’s master plan, which identifies green belts on both sides of the 9th Avenue and requires the conservation of green belts.
Taking notice of a story published in The Express Tribune on Monday, Hussain said he has requested the apex court to intervene.
He said Islamabad’s greenery was its identity and must be protected.
“Development should not be at the cost of natural beauty of Islamabad,” He said. “We do not want Islamabad to turn into a concrete jungle.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2014.
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