SHC suspends stay order against Clifton flyover

KARACHI: A division bench of Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday suspended an order of SHC single bench that had stayed the construction work on a flyover near Abdullah Shah Gazi shrine in Clifton, Karachi.

A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi gave this order on a High Court Appeal filed by Bahria Town questioning an order passed by SHC single bench in a lawsuit.

Earlier on April 2, SHC bench while hearing a lawsuit filed by Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority had given an interim order against flyover project.

Bahria Town 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.

It may mentioned here that Pakistan Defence Officers Housing Authority had filed lawsuit seeking injunction against the project allegedly being built without complying with the mandatory requirements of environmental protection laws and approval from authorities concerned.

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 shrine in Clifton. It had also undertaken a project “Grade Separated Improvement Plan” from Park Tower Intersection to AT 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 of 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 DHA and Clifton areas and its cost runs into billions of rupees. 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.

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

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