SHC gives govt time to file replies on petition against deep sea container port project

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday gave the federal and provincial authorities three week time to file their respective replies to the petition against construction of deep sea container port project.

A division bench warned the authorities against further disobedience of its order and said in case comments are still not filed within such time, heavy cost shall be imposed on defaulting officials.

The bench had taken a petition filed by Abdul Jabbar Khan, who moved the court against the project.

The petitioner submitted the deep sea container port was being built on the front of residential area in Clifton which will block public access to the Clifton beach. He said people of the city would be deprived of recreational place if Clifton beach, accessible to the general public, was blocked due to the project.

He stated that the construction of the port would involve the breaking of rocks in front of blocks 1 and 2 of Clifton, which can help mitigating earthquakes. Therefore, he said, the lives of people living in the city would be put at risk if the rocks were removed. The court was requested to order the government to shift the site of the port to eastern waters, as recommended in the feasibility report for the project.

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) in response to the court notice had filed its reply, stating that petitioner had no locus standi to institute the litigation as he was not aggrieved by the project in any manner. It stated that with construction of deep sea container port fundamental right of the citizens would not be violated as they had access to the beach.

The KPT said that the project would help boast country’s economy and create job opportunities for millions of people. It said that deep sea container port would be built and developed according to international standards and it will be equipped with modern technologies to facilitate ships, vessels of all types to dock and move cargo to and from land.

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