EPA serves notice to Punjab Safe City Authority for violating law


LAHORE: The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) of Punjab has asked for work to stop on the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) as it was causing pollution in the city, Pakistan Today has learnt.

A show cause notice regarding stoppage of work has been served to the PSCA.

The on-going PSCA project is considered one of the state-of-the-art projects in the province, aiming to provide fool security to the citizens of Lahore. For the purpose, Punjab government will install more than 8,000 CCTV cameras for surveillance while more than 800 vehicles equipped with cameras would be supporting the integrated command and control centre.

Since the project was inaugurated, the authority started digging out different roads and streets of the city to lay down the fiber optic wires.

It has been observed that contractor remained reluctant to cover the holes properly after the wires were laid down. These uncovered holes can be seen as a source of dust on the different roads and streets of the city.

Sources in PSCA informed Pakistan Today that around 1,500 KM of digging has been completed to lay down fiber optics.

According to the show cause which EPA sent under section 16 of Punjab Environmental Protection Act 1997, a team of Punjab EPA visited the project on various locations of the city and it had been reported that violation of the provision of Punjab Protection Act 1997 were taking place.

Addressing to the chief executive of the PSCA, it reads: “Indiscriminate disposal of debris along roadside of the city were found which were causing air/dust pollution”. This notice further stated that an opportunity for explaining its point of view was given to PSCA under section 16 (1) of the act but the authority was failed to defend its position.

However, the show cause notice does not mention when EPA had given PSCA the opportunity to defend itself.

An official seeking anonymity told Pakistan Today that such kind of notice was considered as the final notice which just can be delivered after proper hearing but EPA did not fulfil the criteria prior to the notice.

PSCA Spokesman Hafiz Tayyab while talking to Pakistan Today said that this was the first time that EPA served any notice. He said that during the construction work of the project, all the suitable measures were adopted to avoid any violation. However, Tayyab said that during rainy season, the department observed inconvenience on roads at few spot which was immediately resolved.