Several mega projects under way without NOC

RAWALPINDI: Many multi-million rupees mega projects in the garrison city are either going on or completed without taking NOC from the Environment Protection department.

Under Section 12 of the Environmental Protection Act, taking NOC from the environment department is mandatory for all projects but this act has been violated in the case of all the projects, making it difficult to estimate the environmental pollution created by the projects. According to the sources, the environment department officials had conducted a survey of the slaughter house constructed on Ratta Road but no step was taken to avoid the pollution spread by the slaughter house in the surrounding areas and Nullah Lai. Similarly, an application was forwarded to the environmental protection department for an NOC for Chandni Chowk Flyover project but later on no heed was paid to the issue. Likewise, NOCs for various projects including those of Sixth Road Flyover, Chohr Chowk expansion, Pirwadhai Road Flyover and Underpass and Mareer Chowk were also not taken. Environment District Officer Shoukat Hayat said that letters regarding the violation of laws related to environment protection have been sent to the DG Environment. He said that for the violations, a fine of Rs 5 million per project could be imposed under Section 17 of the Environment Act.
When contacted in this regard, Highways Department Punjab XEN Jamshed Khan said that all formalities to attain NOC from environment protection department for Sixth Road Flyover, Chohr Chowk and Pirwadhai projects have been completed and sent to the department concerned. inp