Embassy Road expansion plan approved by EPA, says CDA project director


ISLAMABAD: Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) State Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, while taking notice of cutting of trees on the Embassy Road, sought a report from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday.

Per details, CDA officials submitted a report on the issue and briefed the minister about the urgent need to expand the Embassy Road and the measures taken to mitigate the environmental impact.

During the meeting, the CDA project director said that the increasing number of vehicles using Embassy Road in the past few years were creating severe problems for commuters, as long queues of vehicles were seen on the road at all times. He said that in order to ease the pressure of traffic on the said route, the expansion plan was inevitable.

The CDA officials also briefed the minister regarding the master plan of the authority and informed that the plan contained clear provisions for the expansion of the said road and reasonable wide space was left vacant all along the road for this purpose.

The officials concerned further told the minister that trees were being planted at all vacant places being left for the expansion of road. On the occasion, the project director refuted the claims of activists that the expansion of the road was being made on the land designated as a green area.

He also said that the plan to expand the Embassy Road was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it contained several measures to mitigate the effects of construction on the environment.

Moreover, the project director said that for every tree cut for the expansion of road, ten new plants would be planted in its place. Around 2,500 new trees would be planted in place of the 245 trees which were being cut in the process, he added. He also said that the CDA would plant small plants of 8-10 feet height for which budgetary provisions were made in the PC-I.

While further explaining the authority’s stance on the matter, the project director said that the environmental impact of new trees would be better than the previous trees since the previous trees were 35-40 years old and many were near completion of their natural life.\

He said that almost 25 per cent of trees cut down during the road expansion project, included paper mulberry and eucalyptus trees, which were now considered as prohibited species. Every year, half a million new trees were being planted by the CDA in its tree-planting campaigns, which were undertaken twice a year, he added.

While providing details of new plantation, the CDA project director said that 500 alestonia trees, 500 pilkhan trees, 500 chir pine trees, 100 sapium trees, 500 ficus trees, and 400 sukh chain trees, would be planted in the federal capital.