EPA on tribunal’s order halts CDA’s Margalla underpass sans environmental approval

ISLAMABAD    -    The Pakistan Envi­ronmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) on the directions of the Environmental Protec­tion Tribunal (EPT) has served notices and environmental protec­tion order (EPO) to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to halt construction work at Rawal Chowk and Park Road underpass.

The EPA issued a no­tice to the CDA Members for Environment, Engi­neering and the Project Director for justifying their conduct of starting construction work of their project unit in the Margalla Hills National Park without seeking environmental approval from the Agency.

The notice was served on January 17 to appear on January 18 as per the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, whereas, the construc­tion was violation to 11 and 12 of the Act. After hearing the project pro­ponents and no action from the Agency further, it moved the matter to the Environmental Pro­tection Tribunal for its directions to issue an EPO and stoppage of the illegal construction work. The Tribunal in its ruling clarified that it was the prerogative of the EPA to issue EPO as per the Section 16 of the act whereas the Tri­bunal was to decide the penalties as per section 17 of the Act. The Tri­bunal further observed that earlier the EPA had halted construction work in similar cases and the same could be done after fulfilling all codal formalities.

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