BY AHSAN JAMIL
The Islamabad Signal Free Expressway project work
has been started by Capital Development Authority (CDA) without fulfilling
requisite procedural requirements and submission of Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) report to Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA).
The civic agency is believed to have violated Section 12 of the Pakistan
Environmental Protection Act-1997 (PEPA-1997).
Senator Mushahidullah Khan, Federal Minister for Climate Change has showed
serious concerns and reservations over the alleged infringement by CDA and has
directed Pak-EPA to strictly ensure the compliance of environmental law and take
stern action against the violators. The Minister also urged all the departments to
obey the environmental protocols because Pakistan cannot afford slack approach
towards environment as it is in the list of top 10 most vulnerable countries exposed
to the risk of climate change phenomenon and its impacts are already showing as a
result of unexpected flooding, drought etc.
“No project can be termed as sustainable if trees and environmental degradation is
likely to happen due to it. All public/private organizations are legally bound to
obtain EIA report and get mandatory approvals from Pak-EPA before starting any
project”, he added.