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Karachi: New DHA project still at planning stage

DHA was of the view that no construction or operation of the project in question had commenced at the site, therefore, the question of violating the laws did not arise.

KARACHI: The Defence Housing Authority has assured the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) that it would comply with all environmental laws of the country and would submit an environmental impact assessment report (EIA) for its DHA City project before the commencement of construction or operation of the project.

The advertisement campaign for DHA City, the residential-cum-commercial estate of the DHA along the Superhighway, was part of the planning and feasibility study of the project, Sepa director-general Naeem A. Mughal told Dawn. He said that two senior officials of the DHA had called him on Thursday to inform him about the development status of the project.

He said that in response to a Sepa letter dated Aug 3 to the DHA, they informed him that the DHA respected the country’s environmental laws and would meet all obligations remaining in close coordination with Sepa.

The DHA also submitted the reply of the Sepa letter, he added.

Mr Mughal said the DHA had also intimated him that the EIA report on the project in question would be submitted in due course to Sepa for getting the environmental clearance as required under Section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.

Earlier, Sepa had communicated to the DHA that although it had not submitted any environmental report regarding the commencement of its DHA City project, the authority started inviting applications from the general public, which would imply that the DHA had launched the project without complying with the legal requirements and had thus violated the related provisions of the PEPA, 1997.

Referring to his recent meetings with DHA officials and relevant communications, the DG said that the DHA was of the view that no construction or operation of the project in question had commenced at the site, therefore, the question of violating the laws did not arise.

Mr Mughal said the DHA told him that work on the master plan of the project was in progress and the authority would give due consideration to all requirements of Sepa.

Replying to another question, the Sepa DG said that the DHA officials had said that the advertisements and other campaigns related to the project were part of the planning and feasibility study of the project.

Source: The Dawn

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