Verdict on Margalla Avenue project reserved


ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday reserved a verdict on a petition challenging the construction of the Margalla Avenue project without seeking prior approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The stalled project involves the construction of a nine-kilometre road from GT Road near Sangjani to Sector D-12 in the capital.

IHC judge Aamer Farooq of IHC heard the petition filed by the residents of the federal capital against the construction of the Margalla Avenue project near the Margalla National Park.

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EPA officials told the court that the application for the environmental no-objection certificate was moved after the start of construction work by the contractor.

The court asked what would be the future of Margalla Avenue if the approval was not granted. The lawyer of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ali Bokhari told the court that the Margalla Avenue project package-I was under way since 2012 and 50 per cent of work had been completed. Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) officials took the stance that they were responsible for the protection of Margalla Hills National Park but it was not consulted regarding the matter.

The court said anyone could file a petition regarding the issue of the environment. The court remarked that the environment meant not only trees but everything like protection of wildlife and controlling pollution. After listening to arguments, the court reserved the judgement.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2021.




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