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Pakistan SC stops work on tunnel for trade corridor with China

Last Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 19:25

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Supreme Court on Friday directed authorities to stop work on a tunnel that is part of the Pakistan-China trade corridor as it passes through the Margalla Hills that have the status of a national park.

The apex court ordered the halt of all construction and digging in the Margalla Hills.

It also asked the Capital Development Authority to form a committee to conduct a survey on the national park and prepare a report. The report should be submitted to the registrar of the Court within two weeks.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said progress on developmental work is appreciated but preservation of national and environmental heritage should be given importance.

He further said if a tunnel is dug through the hills, it will serve as a passageway for heavy goods traffic.

The National Highway Authority had argued the construction of a tunnel would not harm the spirit of the park.

The government had been considering the construction of a tunnel through the Margalla Hills connecting Islamabad to Haripur ? as part of the Pakistan-China trade corridor.

NGOs and environmental organisations claim that going ahead with the tunnel will give rise to environmental and health issues.

Following the controversy which surrounded the project, the Chief Justice took suo motu notice of the issue.

First Published: Friday, October 25, 2013 - 19:25

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