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SC seeks report from CDA, MCI in Bani Gala environmental pollution case

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over delay in execution of previous orders in Bani Gala environmental pollution case and directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Municipal Corporation Islamabad (MCI) to submit reports in the case.

The court also sought a report on the inclusion of unhealthy substances in Rawal Dam.

The court stated that the concerned departments should find out from where such hazardous material was entering the water and take steps to stop it.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the case regarding unplanned/unregistered construction in Bani Gala, National Park area and grant of commercial lease by the CDA.

During the course of proceedings, the bench expressed annoyance over Planning Commission for taking five months to plan a project.

The court directed the CDA to receive offers for the sanitation project within a month.

The bench also ordered that the issue of CDA and municipal corporation powers should be resolved soon.

The court also directed CDA to plant trees in the area of Bari Imam.

The CDA counsel said that the Bani Gala environmental pollution projects would cost a total of Rs 4 billion while CDA had Rs 500 million at present.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the CDA to start the project with seriousness.

The counsel said that the Planning Commission began work, but was delayed due to coronavirus added that the work would be resumed by December this year.

Justice Bandial addressing the counsel said that the report did not mention the lack of funds.

He said that illegal construction was still going on around Rawal Dam area. He asked had the cleaning work of Rawal Dam been started?

The counsel responded that cleaning work of the dam would be started under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Justice Bandial said that it would take five years to start work under PSDP and ordered the CDA to initiate work in the next three months.

The counsel assured the court that work would be completed soon in collaboration with the municipal corporation.

Justice Bandial asked what problems did the municipal corporation face in working with CDA? The Municipal Corporation should state which areas had room for improvement so that the court could issue an order, he added.

The counsel said that three more clean water projects were being launched in E-11 and Saidpur area.

Justice Bandial observed that no timeline had been set for the construction of the projects.

Later, the hearing of the case was adjourned until November.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.