KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday asked provincial authorities, counsels for Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and others to file their respective rejoinders on appeal of KMC and Bahria Town challenging SHC order that stayed construction work on a flyover and two underpasses in Clifton, Karachi.
A division bench headed by Justice Irfan Saddat Khan adjourned the hearing of two identical high court appeals (HCAs) till May 28. KMC through its director general (technical) filed an appeal in court, challenging verdict of SHC single bench that had stayed the construction work on the project.
Applicant’s counsel Farooq H Naik submitted that huge investment had been made in pursuance of the project and entire excavation and major portion of the work has been completed. Besides investment, a lot of hardship was being caused to the commuters due to suspension of construction work, he added.
The project in question would ameliorate traffic congestion around the area of Park Towers and shrine of Abdullah Shah Gazi, he said, adding that the project is of natural importance and suspension of the work following the SHC orders was not only causing great inconvenience to general public also colossal loss to the KMC.
Earlier on April 29, the single bench of SHC Justice Munib Akhtar had allowed the application of DHA while ruling that “all construction in relation to the project is restrained and stopped immediately.”
He had directed Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) to obtain a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA) report from Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) on the project.
Bahria Town’s counsel Fiaz Hussain Shah argued that SHC single bench had not taken into consideration the fact that DHA had no locus standi to institute the lawsuit as it had no concern with the project in question.
Shah said that entire road had massively been dug up and excavation work was already completed. Entire construction work on project had been stopped which was causing inconvenience to public, he added.
The counsel said that the builder had received Rs 1.8 billion for the construction of project and half amount had already been spent on the construction work. If the impugned order is not suspended, it would cause huge loss to applicant. He requested the court to suspend the impugned order of single bench.