Environment agency to take up Islamabad's Bhara Kahu project tomorrow.

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) will conduct a public hearing on the environment impact assessment report prepared by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Bhara Kahu bypass project on Friday (tomorrow).

On the other hand, the faculty members who challenged the project for its environmental impacts appeared hopeful for a favourable verdict and also chalked up a 14-page response to the CDA's 244-page-long assessment report - both responses have been submitted to the Pak-EPA.

According to the teachers, the CDA project violated the Islamabad master plan, claiming the civic agency did not take stakeholders on board before starting the project and chopped down a number of trees.

They also obtained a stay order from the Islamabad High Court, which barred the CDA from carrying out the construction work in the limits of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU).

QAU faculty members say project harmful for environment, started without EPA approval

Meanwhile, the CDA said the project was started after the approval of the vice chancellor and that only Eucalyptus trees were chopped down.

The civic body further said the university syndicate had also given a go-ahead to the project last month.

According to the CDA, 199 kanals QAU land fell in the alignment of the project and in lieu of this land, the civic body had already issued the offer letter of providing 225 kanals to the university.

Therefore, the CDA officials claimed that the university's faculty members, without the support of the vice chancellor and syndicate, were opposing the public welfare project.

The CDA said 436 trees were in the 'right of the way' of the entire project and at least 57pc of the trees would be relocated.

In its response, the faculty members of the varsity stated that the area where the road was being 'constructed falls in Zone-III, where no change in land use is permissible except for such projects as may be related to conservation, preservation, afforestation and recreation and are covered by Margalla Hills National Park Management Plan'.

Their reply further said the QAU was situated in the National Park Zone-III and any development project in the area was against the applicable laws.

They said the CDA could not amend the master plan without prior approval of the federal government and in this project, no amendments were made.

The reply further said the CDA in its EIA report stated that the title of land for the said project belonged to the civic...

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