Mushahid directs for addressing environmental compliance
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan has directed Pakistan Environmental Protection Ageny (Pak-EPA) to address the environmental compliance of the Islamabad Expressway expansion project, which was inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The minister took serious notice of the alleged violation of Section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act-1997 (PEPA-1997) by the civic agency in respect of the Islamabad Expressway expansion project.
Mushahidullah Khan directed the Pak-EPA to take necessary action against violators of PEPA-1997 in case of any violation of the environmental laws in respect of the Islamabad Expressway expansion project.
While expressing serious concern over launch of the Islamabad Highway expansion project without mandatory environmental impact assessment (EIA), he said that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) should avoid implementing any project as long as prior EIA of the project is not conducted.
The minister said that it was a mandatory obligation of the civic agency to comply with the environmental laws while launching development plans in the capital and set precedence for others as a role model. “We know that as per section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, all departments, agencies and organisations are bound to get EIA report before initiating ay mega project.
And, we will ensure compliance of such environmental laws at all levels and come what may,” the minister emphasised.
Mushahidullah Khan cautioned that no projects would be supported, which are launched in disregard for environment protection anywhere in the country. “All government, non-governmental departments and organisations must ensure that environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are conducted before launch of development or non-development projects in the country,” the minister stressed.
He warned in strict terms that those failing to do so will be brought to book. Mushahidullah Khan underlined, “No project can be termed sustainable and environmental-friendly, if trees and green belts are destroyed due to it.” However, construction contractors must ensure that green belts and trees remain intact, the minister added.