Islamabad—Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a report has suggested measures to mitigate social and environmental impact of construction of Signal Free Corridor of Islamabad Highway from Zero Point to GT Road.
According to the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, EPA has conducted social survey, air and water analyses, soil examination and other tests to evaluate the conditions which will emerge during construction of the project.
According to EPA report, the site preparation and construction activities may necessitate removal of the trees and shrubs from the areas where project construction activity will take place.
Almost 500 old trees will be moved and replanted to other suitable conditions while 300 Mulberry trees will be cleared due to CDA’s plan of clearing pollen allergy producing species. Cutting of trees and other natural vegetation will be minimized as far as possible through astute planning. Tree cuttings are part of the project, however comprehensive plantation will mitigate the loss of vegetation.
Several adverse impacts have been expected during the construction phase of the project. These impacts include air pollution due to construction activities and machinery operation.
Water pollution has also been projected if adequate mitigation measures are not adopted.
Signal free corridor from Zero Point to GT Road wil be built at a cost of Rs21814 million in 24 months.
Capital Development Authority (CDA) is the executing agencyof the project which includes three existing lanes and addition of two lanes on each side of the carriageway from Zero Point interchange to Faizabad interchange and rehabilitation of existing five lanes on each side of the carriageway from Faizabad to Karal Chowk.
EPA plans to hold a public hearing on the social and environmental impact of the project on October 17, 2016.