The petitioner has raised environmental concerns against ‘cheap power’ plants
Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday rejected a review petition filed by the Punjab government against the stay order issued against the construction of a coal-fired power project being set up in the Sahiwal district.
Earlier, Advocate General Naveed Rasool stated that power generation was the need of the hour and requested the court to vacate the stay.
However, Justice Masud Abid Naqvi dismissed the petition and upheld the decision of the single bench.
Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh of the LHC had stayed the construction of the project in Sahiwal on a petition filed by Said Power Limited and others.
Advocates Munawarus Salam and Waleed Khalid had appeared on behalf of the petitioners and stated that the government had started building a project that constituted an obvious threat to the environment. “The government should have obtained an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and waited for its approval, but it did not do so,” the counsel said. They said that the government had followed neither the relevant law nor international standards.
“The petitioner is a power generation and distribution company, located only 3.5 kilometres away from the project site,” the counsel said.
“The government should have maintained the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS), but it did not do so,” they said.
They stated that many countries were abandoning the use of coal-fired power plants.
The counsel said that the establishment of the project would ruin agricultural land in the area and affect the health of the local people. They had requested the court to order the government to stop construction for the project.
LDA stopped from demolishing shops
Lahore High Court on Monday stopped the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) from demolishing some shops for the construction of a road for its housing scheme called LDA City.
The court ordered the authority to first pay compensation to the shop owners.
Owners of the shops, acquired by the LDA, had filed a petition submitting that the government was constructing a road to link LDA City with Ferozepur Road.
They said the government had assured them that they would be paid the amount before the shops were demolished.
They said the government had started bulldozing their shops without paying them the compensation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.