ISLAMABAD, Sept 20: The controversy over a plan to link Islamabad with Haripur through a multi-lane tunnel via the Margalla Hills is set to echo in parliament.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, the secretary general of Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and chairman Senate defence committee, has submitted an adjournment motion to the upper house on the project.

"According to reports in the media, on August 23, 2013, at a meeting presided over by the prime minister it was announced that a decision had been taken for construction of a tunnel through the Margalla Hills to link Islamabad with Haripur to provide a shorter route to commuters of Gilgit-Baltistan, Mansehra and Abbottabad.

This is a matter of urgent public importance since such a tunnel would be in violation of the laws governing the Margalla Hills National Park,” Senator Mushahid stated.

He said the project, which has neither been proposed by the Planning Commission nor sanctioned by Ecnec or approved by any higher authority, including the environment division, would have dangerous implications for the ecology and environment of the national park. Besides, it would not only be illegal but will also be detrimental to the environment of the federal capital.

"As elected representative of the citizens of Islamabad in the Senate, this is a matter of great public importance for me and it also causes a deep concern for the citizens of Islamabad and environmentalists,” he said.

He requested the chairman Senate to adjourn the normal proceedings of the house to discuss the matter of urgent public importance.

It may be noted that Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf and the PML-Q have started opposing the idea of a tunnel soon after disclosure of the project.

It has also become a favourite subject of discussion on the social media with some reminding that real estate tycoon Malik Riaz had once offered to pay off the entire financial liabilities of the government if he was allowed to undertake the project involving construction of multi-storey buildings having a potential of generating revenues worth billions of dollars.—Iftikhar A. Khan

More From This Section

Hard reasons for clearing soft slums

The katchi abadis in Islamabad are considered a security risk

HEC gets permanent chairperson at last

ISLAMABAD: After a delay of about seven months, the government on Tuesday appointed a full-time chairperson of the...

‘This year’s Lit Fest will be bigger, better’

KLF organisers promise Islamabad over 120 writers, 14 book launches and 67 sessions on April 25-27.

Slum dwellers left heartbroken

Naeem Khan, 26, a slum dweller, said though his father and grandfather came from Afghanistan, he was born in the...


Comments are closed.

Comments (1)

Ahmed Abdullah
September 22, 2013 1:34 am

Malik Riaz is friend of all, may it be Mr Asif Zardari or Nawaz Sharif. PM should exercise diligence and prudence in exercising his powers. He is not mandated to take the country for the ride. In terms of cost benefit analysis Margala Tunnel project would only be a burden on our strained economy besides the colossal damage it is likely to cause to our already degraded environment. Long live builder mafia and long live owners and supporters of Stone Crushing projects of Margalla hills.

Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Cartoons
E-PAPER
Front Page