KARACHI:,,, The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to submit its objections to the application filed by real estate concern seeking to resume the construction work on a flyover and two under passes in Clifton area.
A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar was seized with the hearing of appeals filed by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and Bahria Town challenging the SHC’s single bench order barring Bahria Town from carrying out construction on a flyover and two underpasses in Clifton.
Earlier on April 29, a single bench of the SHC had allowed the DHA’s application while ruling that all construction in relation to the project be immediately stopped. The bench had asked the KMC to obtain a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) report from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) on the project.
DHA had contended that construction of mega project was made without EIA duly approved by the Environment Protection Agency.
Counsel for Bahria Town filed an application stating that following SHC’s order, a Nazir of the court was appointed to inspect the constructions site in Clifton area. He stated that Nazir’s report confirmed that the construction was at fairly advance stage when it was stopped following high court order against construction.
He requested the court to allow Bahria Town to resume construction work at its own risk and cost and subject to the EIA report to be submitted by Sepa, which it would fully abide by.
He emphasized that construction work on the project was at fairly advance stage and if it is not immediately started before arrival of heavy rains as expected in next few days, it might cause irreparable heavy harm to life and property of in the vicinity. The two-judge bench issued notice to DHA to submit its objections to the application by July 17.
Earlier, Farooq H Naik, counsel for KMC submitted that project would ease traffic congestion around the area of Park Towers and the shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi, he said, adding that the project was of national importance and suspension of the work following the SHC orders was causing not only great inconvenience to the public but also a colossal loss to the KMC.
The counsel for private builder argued that the SHC single bench had not taken into consideration the fact that the DHA had no locus standi to institute the lawsuit as it had no concern with the project. The court was prayed to set aside the order of single bench against construction.