Environmental concerns: Acquisition of land for coal power plant stayed

Petitioner says the land has been reserved for a residential project


Our Correspondent July 02, 2015
Petitioner says the land has been reserved for a residential project. PHOTO: LHC.GOV.PK

LAHORE: Lahore High Court on Thursday stayed the acquisition of land for a coal power plant near BRB Canal and sought replies from the Energy Department and the Power Development Company.

Justice Mamoon Rasheed Sheikh passed the order on a petition filed by four citizens challenging the construction of the plant.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, counsel for the petitioners, told the court one of his clients intended to establish a housing colony at Jallo, Khera, Manawan, and Rampur Jageer areas. He said a power company wanted to acquire a piece of land at Khera to set up the plant.He said acquiring of the land that included a portion of the proposed housing scheme by the company would affect the entire colony. He said his client’s right to business would be challenged if the company acquired the land.

The lawyer said coal-fired power was considered an obsolete technology. He said the government had established the Punjab Power Development Company Limited to build power projects under the public-private partnership. The company has been tasked with arranging funds, Siddique said. He said the Lahore Development Authority had issued a notification on June 13, 2015, amending the integrated master plan for Lahore. The agricultural land surrounded by GT Road, the BRB Canal, Hudiara Drain, Bedian Road, Khaira Distributory, Burki Road and Shalimar Link Road had been designated for residential use, he said.  The lawyer said the proposed coal power projects would pollute the environment. He said the move was a violation of Articles 9, 14, 38 of the Constitution. The court stayed the land acquisition and adjourned the hearing until July 15.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2015.

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