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Full Version: Peshawar: Construction of ‘illegal’ building
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EPT seeks report from National Highway Authority

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Bureau report

PESHAWAR: The Environmental Protection Tribunal (EPT) has directed the authorities of Naran Jalkhel Project and National Highway Authority (NHA), Northern Areas, to submit report on construction of an ‘illegal’ building within a month time.

EPT Chairperson Mussarat Hilali ordered the respondents to hold public hearing on Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and submit its report before the tribunal. She was taking up a complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against Project Director of Naran Jalkhel Project Raheel Khan and General Manager NHA Northern Areas Mir Hasan Rind.

The EPA stated in the complaint that it received a notice under Section 21(3)(b) of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act from Zareef Khan Foundation, stating that the construction of an illegal building by the respondents through a project under their administrative control.

“Neither the project director nor the NHA general manager received environmental approval of the said project from the EPA,” the complainant said. The EPA stated that its team visited the site and reported that the respondents were undertaking the construction of the three-storey building on the bank side of River Kunhar on reserved forest area of about 2 acres of land. “The building is being constructed on the bank of River Kunhar, which is partly reserved forest and partly river flow pathway”, it added.

It also stated that the construction and operation of the said building would pollute the river besides causing hurdle in its natural flow, which was the breeding place for trout fish. During a previous hearing in the case on July 10, 2008, Raheel Khan provided a map of the extended project, however, the EPA director general issued and environmental protection order (EPO) wherein they were directed to submit a detailed EIA report within 40 days but to no avail. The EPA forwarded the case to the EPT charging the respondents under Section 16 of the PEPA for not complying with the orders of the EPA director general.
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