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Saturday May 18, 2024

ICT’s Khayaban-e-Margalla project stopped on violation of environmental laws

By Noor Aftab
December 18, 2021

Islamabad: Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) ordered to immediately stop work on Khayaban-e-Margalla project and directed to follow environmental laws to avoid any legal action.

The Pak-EPA has sent a letter titled ‘Construction of Khyaban-e-Margalla’ on December 16 to Capital Development Authority (CDA) and directed to immediately stop all types of development activities and if orders are not followed then legal action would be taken under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.

The letter stated that it is a mandatory provision under law to secure the approval under Section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1997 before the commencement of the project.

It pointed out that the construction work on the project has been initiated in violation of the mandatory provision of law and it is punishable under Section 17 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.

“It has been observed by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency that you have started construction activities at your project site and on the basis of information received/investigation taken, this Agency has the opinion that you have prima facie contravened the provision of Section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.” the letter said.

Khayaban-i-Margalla is the main road of the capital city that is part of the Master Plan prepared by Greek firm Doxiadis Associates in 1960. As per the Master Plan, it starts from G.T. Road and after passing through various areas touches Constitution Avenue before moving towards Bari Imam to culminate on Murree Road at Bhara Kahu. Four residential sectors--C-13, C-14, C-15, and C-16--fall on this road that would be completed at the cost of Rs970 million.

It was to be completed in 2013, however, due to various reasons including possession of land in a portion, the contractor after doing base work, abandoned the project. The letter said that the Pak-EPA issued a show-cause notice on October 27, 2021 to CDA upon which it was assured that all requirements would be fulfilled in line with the environmental laws.