Bhara Kahu Bypass project’s public hearing ends up in rumpus of outraged masses

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The public hearing of environmental impact assessment (EIA) Report of Bhara Kahu Bypass project held by the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) ended in rumpus of outraged local masses, faculty and students of the Quaid-i-Azam University here at the Jinnah Convention Center.

The public hearing was presided by Deputy Director Lab and NEQS Dr Mohsina Zubair flanked by Member Planning and Design Capital Development Authority (CDA) Waseem Hayat Bajwa, Member Environment CDA, Muhammad Waqas Hanif and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohsina Zubair briefed the participants about the process of EIA Report public hearing and urged them to pose relevant questions before the relevant officials so that all queries could be addressed amicably.

The CDA official presented a detailed presentation on the project highlighting that the bypass would not cause habitat destruction in the area. The total length of Bhara Kahu bypass was 5.22 kilometers (km) out of which 4.18 km was grade road, and 1.04 km elevated highway.

The track, he said was designed at 80 km per hour speed whereas during different assessment reports to gauge various environmental standards, the number of cars commuting from Point 1 some 67,000 commuters were travelling per day on Bhara Kahu road.

The project would help reduce half of the traffic due to fifty percent of the total traffic to be diverted on Bhara Kahu bypass whereas this project alignment was to cause less social and ecological damage, he added.

The air quality report samples showed increased levels of pollutants on the existing route whereas high noise pollution was also noted. Moreover, there were only wild paper mulberry and eucalyptus trees maximum in the area which were detrimental for the environment of the Federal Capital, the CDA official said. —APP

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