KARACHI, July 1: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency has deferred further process on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) of the 150-megawatt wind power project owing to various technical flaws in its EIA report, said a press release issued here on Monday.
The project is to be installed at Jhimpir by the UEP Wind Power (Pvt) Limited.The release said that during a public hearing of the project held at a hotel here on Monday, the participants in the meeting during discussion on the EIA report of the project validly pointed out various flaws in it. Consequently, Sepa technical director Waqar Hussain Phulpoto advised the UEP Wind to submit an addendum of the EIA report to remove the technical shortcomings as mentioned by the stakeholders during the public hearing.
The main flaws in the report as pointed out during the hearing were weaknesses in its community survey conducted by the consultant of the proponent to seek views and comments of people living in the area about the project.
Moreover, the results of the community development survey imply that the communication with the community was not made in their local language and it became the main cause of dull expression of their concerns and hopes on the project.
It was also pointed out that it was not stated in the report that how the proponent would handle various environmental issues likely to emerge during the construction of the project, including the disposal of construction waste; treatment of civic wastewater and disposal of civic waste generated by the construction staff’s temporary settlements around the project area and mitigation measures to control the noise pollution by the construction machinery that will affect the people living in the area.
The proponent has been directed to get the executive summary of the project translated into the local language and distribute its copies to community leaders, local nongovernmental organisations, stakeholder organisations and other citizens concerned and seek their comments to put them in the addendum of the EIA report of the project.
The proponent has been directed to submit the addendum within three weeks so that Sepa might process the complete EIA report of the project for the consideration of the EIA expert committee for its onward environmental approval subject to satisfactory compilation of the report.
Responding to Dawn queries, Mr Phulpoto said that various flaws were pointed out during the public hearing owing which the proponent was verbally told that he would have to gather the required information, get input from various government departments and community leaders and include that information in the EIA for its evaluation by Sepa’s technical committee.
He said the proponent would visit the Sepa office in a day or two to say in how many days, weeks or months he could get the required information, after which sufficient time would be given to him to complete the EIA report, which could then be evaluated by Sepa experts.
Answering a question that what information was missing from the report, he said that data relating to wildlife in general and endangered species in particular present in the project area and effects of the project on their habitat and life was missing, as was pointed out by Sindh wildlife department expert Dr Fahmida Firdous.