PHC stops plaza construction on watercourse

The News

PESHAWAR: A special green bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) has stopped further construction of a multi-storey commercial plaza built on a watercourse in connivance with Town-III and Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) officials.
A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Abdul Shakoor stopped the construction of the plaza and sought reply from the Town-III administration and PDA.
The bench restrained the owner from putting the plaza to any use until the final disposal of the case. During the hearing, the court also deputed counsel representing Town-III to visit the spot and report any excesses.
However, it was confirmed during the inspection that encroachments were made during the construction. The bench remarked that the government kept sleeping during the construction and only woke up when the court assumed the jurisdiction. Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Environmental Protection Agency. The bench passed the orders in a writ petition filed by inhabitants of the locality wherein the multi-storey commercial plaza is being constructed.
The counsel for the petitioners submitted that locals ran from pillar to post to stop illegal construction and even approached the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), but to no avail. He said in similar situations where plazas are built in violation of building plan, courts have ordered to demolish them. The bench remarked it would not hesitate to take any step to protect amenities and environment and may order the demolition if necessary in case the violations were proved.

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