SHC judge declines to hear plea against M9 project

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court’s (SHC) Justice Faisal Kamal on Tuesday declined to hear the petition filed against the construction of the M9 project, a 139-kilometer long six-lane motorway between Karachi and Hyderabad, owing to some reasons.

The petition filed by stakeholders, including owners of CNG and petrol stations, dairy farmers, and other individuals, was fixed before a division bench comprising Justice Faisal Kamal as well who refused to proceed with the matter.

The case has now been referred to the SHC chief justice for placing the same before another bench. Earlier, the stakeholders, also including some individuals who run different businesses along the Superhighway, approached the SHC submitting that conversion of the four-lane Superhighway into a six-lane motorway would threaten their livelihoods.

They submitted that it was a public interest petition as among the aggrieved persons were not only the petitioners but countless people, including those living and earning their livelihoods linked to the Superhighway in its current fenceless shape and design.

The petitioner’s counsel had recalled that National Highway Authority (NHA) officially intimated some of the petitioners, owners of CNG and petrol stations on September 9, 2014, and December 9, 2014 that the NHA intended to convert the existing highway into a six-lane motorway in 2015 on the directions of the then prime minister. He said that the government had first announced the M9 Project in 2009 and since then the petitioners had consistently shown their strong reservations over the project.

It may be recalled that the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the completed section of M9 in February this year. The remaining portion of the motorway is being constructed and expected to be completed this year.