CONSTRUCTION WORK ON RAVI URBAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has restrained Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) from carrying out construction work on Ravi River Front Urban Development Project. Till the grant of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).
“Since the process for the grant of EIA is under way. They have directed that no work shall be commenced at the site by RUDA until the approvals are granted by the EPD,” Justice Shahid Karim stayed the construction. And ruled in an order released about hearing on petitions about different environmental issues.
Previously, the judge had sought reports from the federal and provincial governments about the compliance of environmental regulations in the project.
On Thursday, Additional Advocate General Anis Hashmi submitted the relevant record of the EIA report prepared in respect of Ravi River Front Urban Development Project.
He also placed on record a letter written to the director general of the EPD on December 30, 2020 by the chairman of the RUDA requesting for information about legal requirements for submission of EIA report.
Besides staying the Ravi River Front project, Justice Karim also directed an assistant attorney general to inform the court about “Naya Pakistan Project”.
CONTROL OF SMOG
Meanwhile, a judicial water & environmental commission filed its report about steps being taken to control smog. It revealed that 38.72 percent of the brick kilns operating in Punjab had already converted to new zigzag technology.
It said they have sealed a number of industrial units. They have also registered FIRs against the owners for emitting smoke in violation of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s directions.
The commission’s report further revealed that they have taken many of vehicles and fines imposed. Because they did not conform to the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.
LHC HEARING ABOUT ENCROACHMENTS
The judge also directed the LDA to launch a campaign against encroachments and illegal parking of cars. This campaign will be in the areas of Samanabad, Gulshan-i-Ravi, Bund Road and Allama Iqbal Town (Moon Market).
Advocate Sheraz Zaka argued for petitioners. The court has adjourned the hearing for a date. LHC’s Registrar Office will fix it.
Justice Karim had directed the government to impose heavy fines against the industrial emissions across the province. Also those involved in selling and manufacturing of plastic bags. The judge directed the EPA to enforce the ban on the use of plastic bags at restaurants and medical stores.
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