Islamabad court extends stay against Bhara Kahu bypass project

Published December 3, 2022
<p>Construction work underway on the Bhara Kahu bypass project along Srinagar Highway on Wednesday. — APP</p>

Construction work underway on the Bhara Kahu bypass project along Srinagar Highway on Wednesday. — APP

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday extended the stay against construction of Bhara Kahu bypass on Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU)’s land till Dec 6 and asked the counsel of the petitioner as well as respondents to conclude their arguments till the said date.

IHC Justice Minagul Hassan Aurangzeb on Friday resumed hearing of the petition filed by five faculty members of the QAU.

Additional attorney general Munawar Iqbal Duggal submitted the report of the committee constituted by the federal cabinet to resolve the dispute between the petitioners and the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Mr Duggal argued that the committee had concluded that the Bhara Kahu bypass was Phase II of Margalla Road which was already provided in the master plan of Islamabad, adding the bypass was not a violation of the master plan.

The project was initiated in the public interest and the CDA is empowered to undertake such development works, he added.

He said the portion of the bypass being constructed within the premises of the QAU would not adversely affect the educational activities as the bypass was about one kilometre from the building.

Advocate Kashif Ali Malik, the counsel for the petitioners, argued that land allocated for the proposed Pakistan-China Research Centre at the QAU was being used for the bypass project.

He said the university syndicate had already allocated Rs7bn for the research centre project the execution of which was conditional with the availability of land.

The federal cabinet can amend the master plan to give legal cover to the project, he said, adding the current layout of the bypass was not in accordance with the master plan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sept 30 laid the foundation of the bypass and directed the National Logistics Cell (NLC) to complete the project in three months.

The five-km-long road (including a one-km flyover) will start from Murree Road near QAU stop and culminate on Murree Road near the Jugi bus stop adjacent to Punjab Cash and Carry from where a flyover will begin which will end outside Bhara Kahu bazaar towards Murree.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2022

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