Clifton traffic project: SHC reserves verdict on KMC appeal

September 1, 2014 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: A division bench of Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday reserved its verdict on an appeal filed by Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) against SHC single bench order that barred Bahria Town from carrying out construction work on a flyover and two underpasses in Clifton area.

Two-judge bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar after hearing final arguments from both sides including counsels for appellant and respondents at length reserved verdict to be pronounced later.

KMC filed high court appeal challenging the SHC’s single bench order that restrained Bahria Town from carrying out construction on a flyover and two underpasses at Clifton area.

Farooq H Naik, who represented KMC submitted that the Clifton traffic project was of national importance as it would help easing traffic congestion around the area of Park Towers and the shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi.

He said huge investment had been made in the project and entire excavation and a major portion of the work had been completed, adding that suspension of the work following the SHC orders was causing not only great inconvenience to the public but also a colossal loss to KMC. Besides, he said, a lot of hardship was being caused to commuters due to the suspension of the work.

The counsel for Bahria Town argued that the SHC single bench had not taken into consideration the fact that the DHA had no locus standi to institute the lawsuit as it had no concern with the project. He requested the court to set aside the order of single bench against construction.

However, the counsel for DHA vehemently objected to the project submitting that before the commencement of the project, environmental laws were not followed properly. He said that relevant authorities did not take into account effects that project would have on environment. He requested the court to dismiss the appeal.

On April 29, a single bench of the SHC had allowed the DHA lawsuit while ruling that all construction in relation to the project be immediately stopped. The bench had asked the KMC to obtain a mandatory environmental impact assessment report from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency on the project.

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