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Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of Margalla Hills tunnel project: Mushahid Hussain

Mushahid Hussain SyedLahore: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who is Senator representing the Federal Capital, has taken strong exception to the news reports that the government has decided to build a tunnel through the Margalla Hills to link Islamabad with Haripur and that the NHA and CDA have already been tasked to start working on its implementation on the fast track.  Talking to the media here today, Senator Mushahid Hussain appealed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, to take suo moto notice of what he termed a project that is ‘illegal’ since it is being planned in violation of the laws governing the Margalla Hills National Park.

He said that this decision had already provoked anger and shock among the citizens of Islamabad and he cited three reasons why such a project should be stopped immediately. First, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that building a tunnel through the Margalla Hills would be a flagrant violation of the laws covering the Margalla hills national park, which is protected from construction of any kind under the law of the land.  Second, such a tunnel through the beautiful Margalla hills would be a serious threat for the environment of the Margalla hills national park and Islamabad and this would cause irreparable damage to the ecology and beauty of Islamabad, which is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world. Third, this decision seems to have been taken in a hurry since even the official procedure for processing and permitting such projects has not been followed, as such projects require approval of the Planning Commission and sanction by the ECNEC as well as the NOC of the Environment Protection Agency.

Senator Mushahid Hussain said that since such a tunnel project is in violation of laws, he would take up the issue in the forthcoming Senate Session which is to convene on September 23. He also appealed to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to take suo moto notice of this tunnel project since the citizens of Islamabad have expressed their grave concern, anger and opposition to a project that can not only be damaging to their beautiful city, but also alter its character. He advised the Government to immediately withdraw this project, given the negatives that surround this controversial decision, and earn the goodwill of the citizens of Islamabad, who wish to preserve, protect and promote their Capital’s natural beauty and clean environment.

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