Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition seeking permission for stone crushing in Margalla Hills. “Entire Margalla Hills will be crushed to the ground if permission issued for crushing,” Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said while refusing the plea.
“While travelling on the motorway the view of the crushed Margalla Hills causes a heartache,” the chief justice said. “In the first step they make a hill barren with tree cutting and then entire hill detonated,” the top judge remarked.
“The court’s order to ban stone crushing was in the best national interest,” Justice Gulzar Ahmed said. “The best limestone found in these hills for construction of the CPEC road,” petitioner’s counsel Aitzaz Ahsan said. “permission for removing stone from here is also in the best national interest,” the lawyer argued.
“You are not talking about the interest of the nation but financial interest of the crusher,” the CJP remarked. Stones required for the project could be arranged from a far-flung area,” Justice Gulzar said. “If allowed they could even evaporate the K2,” he said. “We have to protect our national asset. The hills are not crushed anywhere in the world like here,” the chief justice said.
“Minerals are our national asset, which should be properly utilized,” the counsel said. “Because it is the national asset the court has ruled for its protection,” Justice Gulzar retorted.
“It is like preventing fisherman from fishing,” the counsel further argued. “Fishing is not being prohibited as the fish in born again but when a hill is crushed it could not emerge again,” Justice Ijazul Ahsan, another member of the bench said.
The machinery, equipment and other material have been trapped in the area after the court order, the counsel said. The apex court allowed the crushers to remove their machinery from the area and rejected all petitions filed against ban on crushing in the Margalla Hills.