SHC stays work on flyover, two underpasses in Clifton

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday stayed the construction work on two underpasses and a flyover, being built near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Clifton area.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar, who headed a single bench of SHC, gave this interim order on lawsuit filed by Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority seeking injunction against the project allegedly being built without complying with the mandatory requirements of environmental protection laws and approval from authorities concerned.

The bench issued notice to secretary ministry of environmental protection, chief secretary, secretary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA).

Advocate Malik Naeem Iqbal, representing the plaintiff, stated before the judge that Bahria Town had launched the project titled “Bahria Town Icon Tower” near Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Clifton. It had also undertaken a project “Grade Separated Improvement Plan” from Park Tower Intersection to A T Naqvi Roundabout, which included the construction of a flyover in front of Park Towers in Clifton area and the underpasses near Kothari Parade, as part Bahria Town Icon Tower project.

He said that the project involved major construction work to be carried out along the relevant roads, which were major arteries of the DHA and Clifton areas and its cost runs into billions. According to Section 12 of Pakistan Environment Act 1997, no such project could be undertaken without an assessment of its impact on the environment, he added.

Malik said that since the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency had issued Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) of the project but Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was required in respect of this project and issuance of IEE was contrary to law and such approval cannot permit the project to continue.

Plaintiff asked the court to declare the project, encroaching upon Jahangir Kothari Park and Ibn-Qasim Park illegal and direct the defendants to restore the roads to their original position to avoid any inconvenience to citizens.

The court was also prayed to restrain SBCA and Bahria Town from carrying out construction work on the project.

Hearing of case was adjourned till April 10.

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