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February 26, 2021

Ravi project: Punjab ordered to engage int’l consultant for EIA

Lahore

February 26, 2021

LAHORE:The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the Punjab government to engage an international consultant instead of a local one to carry out the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Ravi Urban Riverfront Development Project. Justice Shahid Karim further directed the government to complete the constitution of the Environmental Protection Council within two weeks. Hearing multiple petitions about the environmental issues, the judge ordered the government to ensure that trees were not felled for the construction of pedestrian bridges alongside Canal Road, Lahore. The government was also directed to ensure water conservation measures were adopted in all development projects, including the “Naya Pakistan Housing Project.”

The judge had already stayed construction work on the riverfront project till the approval of its EIA. The government had engaged Engineering Consultancy Services Punjab (Private) Limited (ECSP) as a consultant to conduct the EIA for the project. However, a public interest law firm challenged the EIA process saying the ECSP was itself a subsidiary of the government and not a registered environmental consultant. The matter was heard by Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza who restrained the government from taking a final decision on the EIA of the project.