EIA being conducted after beginning of flyover projects
KARACHI, Nov 6: It was said on Tuesday in session organised by the Environmental Management Consultants that construction work on four KMC flyovers and a building project began way before an environmental impact assessment (EIA) could be conducted.
It had been reported in the media that work on four flyovers had taken off without the approval of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), whereas it is required by law to get the EIA report approved by Sepa to begin work on any project.
The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) is building four flyovers on Sharea Pakistan at Water Pump, Ayesha Manzil, Dak Khana and Teen Hatti for a signal-free Corridor V running from Sohrab Goth to Guru Mandir.
The EIA for these flyovers — being currently conduced by the Environmental Management Consultants — began after the issue was highlighted in the media.
The other project is a residential-cum-commercial project called Silk Sumya. According to an official, Dawood Jan Mohammad, of the Sumya Constructions, the project is being built along Shaheed-i-Millat Road and the building would have 15 floors, consisting of 48 flats and 180 shops.
Mr Mohammad said that construction began after the project was approved by the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA).
He said that the neighbours moved the court after several floors of the building had been built. However, the company was carrying out an environmental impact assessment now after court orders.
Mr Mohammad remarked that if the EIA was so important than the KBCA should be instructed not to approve projects unless they had been approved by Sepa, while pointing out that other buildings were also being built along the same road without Sepa approval.
The director-general of Sepa, Rafiuddin, said he had written several times to the KBCA to request it not to approve building plans until they had been approved by Sepa, but he said that the letters went ignored by the building controllers.
Referring to other buildings being built without conducting an environmental impact assessment, as pointed out by Mr Mohammad, Mr Rafiuddin said that he would look into the matter and take necessary action.
Meanwhile Mirza Anwer Beg of the Karachi Mass Transit Cell said that some flyovers of the signal-free corridor V were being built in the proposed route of the mass transit system. A KMC representative, Mohammad Taha, said on the occasion that he would look into the concerns shown by Mr Beg.
Roland D’Souza associated with NGO Shehri which works on civil issues said, “The construction of flyovers and underpasses of the signal-free corridors would mostly benefit motorists but the mass transit system would benefit the common man,” he said.
Talking about Silk Sumya, Mr D’Souza suggested conducting an EIA of the entire Shaheed-i-Millat Road.