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Clifton traffic project: SHC reserves verdict on KMC appeal





KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) division bench on Tuesday reserved its verdict on an appeal filed by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) against the SHC single bench order barring Bahria Town from construction work on a flyover and two underpasses in the Clifton area. 
The two-judge bench headed by Justice Nadeem Akhtar after hearing final arguments from both sides including counsels for appellant and respondents at length reserved verdict to be pronounced later.
KMC filed a high court appeal challenging SHC’s single bench order restraining Bahria Town from carrying out construction of a flyover and two underpasses at Clifton area.
KMC represented by Farooq H Naik submitted that the Clifton traffic project was of national importance, as it would ease traffic congestion around the Park Towers area and the Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine.
He said, “A huge investment had been made in the project and entire excavation and a major portion of the work has been completed, adding that suspension of the work following the SHC orders was causing not only great inconvenience to the public but also a colossal loss to KMC.” He added, “A lot of hardship was being caused to commuters due to the suspension of the work.”
The counsel for Bahria Town argued that the SHC single bench had not taken into consideration the fact that the DHA had no ‘locus standi’ to institute the lawsuit as it had no concern with the project. He requested the court to set aside the order of the single bench against the construction.
However, the counsel for DHA vehemently objected to the project, submitting that before the commencement of the project, environmental laws were not followed properly. He said that relevant authorities did not take into account effects that the project would have on environment. He requested the court to dismiss the appeal.
On April 29, a single bench of the SHC had allowed the DHA lawsuit while ruling that all construction in relation to the project be immediately stopped. The bench had asked the KMC to obtain a mandatory environmental impact assessment report from the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) on the project. 

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