KARACHI: Bahria Town finally won five-month-long court battle as the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday allowed it to resume construction work on a flyover and two underpasses near Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine in Clifton area.
In April, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) had gone to the court against Clifton traffic project launched by private property developer for not obtaining mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the projects.
On April 29, the court while allowing DHA’s application had ruled that all construction in relation to the project is restrained and stopped immediately. It had also directed Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), proponent of the project, to obtain EIA report from Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) on the project.
Following the court order, KMC obtained the EIA report from Sepa that accorded its approval to the project.
However, DHA again approached the court challenging Sepa’s EIA report while arguing that Sepa issued EIA report without complying with provisions of Environment Protection Act 1997 and other related environment laws.
While granting DHA’s plea, the court, granted stay order on the execution of EIA report on August 15. The stay order remained in the field till October 17 when SHC’s division bench dismissed its petition.
Later, counsel on behalf of Bahria Town filed an application pleading to the court to allow it to resume construction work on the project, as Sepa has given an EIA report on the project while approving it.
He submitted that since the Sepa had accorded its approval to the project on August 05, the builder be allowed to start work on the project.
He told the judge that SHC’s division bench had also dismissed the DHA’s petition through which it challenged Sepa’s EIA report.
During hearing on Wednesday, Justice Munib Akhtar, who headed a single bench, observed he had held that EIA was necessary in respect of the subject project but at that time the same was not obtained and he had granted interim relief to the plaintiff (DHA). He added that it appears that thereafter the proponent of the project KMC did apply for EIA which was granted by Sepa.
Therefore, the court recalled and vacated its stay order against the project. It also disposed of the application.
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