Any further objections?: Clifton flyover project passes SEPA’s environment impact assessment

SHC asks DHA to file comments on why construction should not be resumed.

Our Correspondent August 12, 2014

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices on Tuesday to the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to file comments regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), issued by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), approving the project that includes construction of two underpasses and a flyover in Clifton.

Headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, the bench directed the defendant to file comments by August 18. These directives were issued on a miscellaneous application filed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), who had approached the court with a request to allow resumption of construction work after Sepa's approval.

On April 29, an SHC bench had halted construction work on the project and directed its financer and executor - Bahria Town and KMC respectively - to first obtain an EIA approval from Sepa.

DHA had challenged the project in the SHC on the ground that the defendants, including the KMC and Bahria Town, had started it without obtaining an EIA approval from the environmental protection agency.

On Tuesday, KMC technical services director Niaz Ahmed Soomro informed the court that the KMC had approached Sepa for an EIA approval, as per the court's instructions. The authority has granted approval in an EIA report through an official letter dated August 5, he added while submitting the report to the judges.

Soomro maintained that KMC is a corporation that is willing, determined and able to serve the citizens of Karachi and adheres to the laws, rules and regulations. He claimed that a large portion of work on the project has already been completed and that they have complied with the court's order.

He pleaded to the court to recall its April 29 order and allow construction to begin again so that the project could be completed as soon as possible.

The bench, after the initial hearing, issued notices to the DHA Administrator and others to file their comments by August 18.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2014.



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