ISLAMABAD – The National Logistic Cell (NLC) and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) have deprived the capital from more trees – even without permission – in a bid to meet the deadline of Metro Bus Project by 30th January 2015.
The country’s capital known for its greenery has lost its charm ever since the launch of Metro Bus Project in the twin cities. However, the matter of cutting trees on the green belts had remained as pertinent as the completion of the project itself.
Army-Owned-Army-Run NLC is the main contractor and manager of the project RDA happens to be the implementation partner. At least one leading English daily had claimed that for construction around Peshawar Mor area the contractor cut down trees without prior permission from the Capital Development Authority – a body meant to look after Islamabad.
The report claimed “Trees were chopped down on November 17, but the paperwork was being completed to avoid controversy in the future. Permission will be given without any questions because both the contractor and project manger are politically stronger than any department of the CDA.”
PakistanTribe‘s correspondent when contacted the Public Relations department of NLC the representative refused to comment on the matter in an official capacity.
However, its not the only concern of the people living in adjacent areas of this project. The residents have to face noise pollution, air pollution and above all blocked roads everyday for past several months. As now the mass of the project’s work is shifting from Rawalpindi to Islamabad, more road crossings and u-turns will be blocked in coming days.
Not to forget that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had taken the notice of air-pollution due to much awaited Metro Bus Project in twin cities and directed the concern departments to complete the initiative by 30th January. The Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed had also assured after the notice of PM Nawaz Sharif that the construction work would be closed before 30 January.
It also important to mention here that Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)’s leader and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed pointed out the possible environmental threat from the mass-transit transport project initiated by the Punjab government. Senator Mushahid also heads the environmental panel in upper house of the parliament.
He filed an application in Human Rights Cell (formed by the the former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry) of the highest apex court. Taking notice on Senator Mushahid’s application, the then Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr Justice Tasadduq Hussain Jilani, had ordered all relevant personnel to submit a detailed report on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Metro Bus Project. Later, however, the matter was put in the cold corner.