Expressway expansion: ‘CDA told to abide by environmental laws’

Climate change minister lashes out at CDA for environmental disregard


Shahzad Anwar July 13, 2015
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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Climate Change has said that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) should abide by environmental laws while carrying out development projects.

The statement comes days after the prime minister inaugurated work on expansion of the Islamabad Expressway, a project the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) has objected to since hundreds of trees are set to be chopped during the project.

“CDA should comply with the environmental laws before initiating new development projects,” Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah Khan said while talking to The Express Tribune.

He said the ministry had directed Pak-EPA to take action against the violators — which in this case is the CDA.  The ministry said the violation would not be tolerated.

“Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Development projects are, thus, needed to be more environmental and climate-change resilient,” Khan said.

Pak-EPA has also served a notice on the civic agency for launching the project without obtaining an NOC from the environment regulator and for not conducting an environmental impact assessment of the project.

Over 300 trees will be cut down during the project. A green belt in Sector I-8 running parallel to the highway will be shrunk to make room for the signal-free artery.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.

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