KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday issued notice to federal ministry of environment, chief secretary, Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Clifton Cantonment Board and others, asking them to file comments on an appeal of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) against suspension of construction work on a flyover and two underpasses in Clifton, Karachi.
KMC through its director general (technical) approached the court and filed high court appeal (HCA) in the 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 had been caused to the commuters who have been provided with the detour routes, 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.
After hearing initial arguments, the bench headed by Justice Irfan Saddat Khan issued notice to respondents to file comments on the petition by May 14. The bench ordered its office to combine the HCA with another HCA filed by Bahria Town against SHC order, for joint hearing.
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.
It may be mentioned here that Bahria Town had also filed an appeal against order issued by single bench on lawsuit of DHA.
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.
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