PHC denies Mansehra river bed mining request. On Tuesday, the Peshawar High Court dismissed a petition by a Chinese private business seeking permission to excavate sand and gravel from the Kunhar River bed to construct the Suki Kinari Hydropower project in Manshera district.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Ijaz Anwar directed the petitioner, Jiuzhou Hengton Machinery & Engineering Limited, to seek an alternate location for river bed mining and notify the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency and the mines department of their findings.
It stated that once an alternate location is found, the EPA should determine whether or not the excavation of sand and gravel from that location would harm the environment. The Punjab Health Corporation has denied a request to mine the Mansehra river bed.
A few weeks ago, Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan, who chairs the Green Bench that hears matters involving the environment, took exception to encroachments along important rivers in the province, including Swat, Kunhar, Chitral, and others, and ordered their removal.
Chinese company seeks to lift the moratorium on the Suki Kinari power plant.
Additionally, the bench had prohibited such excavations.
During the previous week’s hearing, the administrative officers of Malakand and Hazara regions informed the court that they had revoked all prior leases to extract sand and gravel from river beds.
Syed Sikandar Hayat Shah, additional advocate general, appeared before the bench, as did another director of the mines department and the director-general of the EPA. Additionally, the petitioner’s counsel was present. The Punjab Health Corporation has denied a request to mine the Mansehra river bed.
The Chinese company is also in the construction of the Suki Kinari hydropower project, colloquially referred to as the Suki Kinari Dam has petitioned the court to lift the prohibition on river bed mining for the duration of the ongoing construction work, arguing that the dam on the Kunhar River is of immense national significance and will generate 870 megawatts of electricity.
The bench inquired whether environmental deterioration was not a matter of national concern, given its effect on the country. The Punjab Health Corporation has denied a request to mine the Mansehra river bed.
Read more with EL news : Mahmood directs the removal of encroachments near rivers
It noticed that river excavations degraded watercourses and had a detrimental impact on the ecology.
The lawyers asserted that the enforcement of the restriction effectively halted construction on the project. The Punjab Health Corporation has denied a request to mine the Mansehra river bed.
They claimed that due to the ban, the necessary materials had to be brought from remote locations, causing damage to the project’s access routes.
However, the bench noted that while highways might be repaired and rebuilt, it could not permit the pollution of rivers for building purposes.
The lawyers maintained that 60% of the work had been accomplished and that the lack of essential materials would cause the job to be delayed. In addition, they argued that, under applicable laws, they might grant exemptions for excavations if the project was of significant national importance.
The attorney stated that the initiative would aid in reducing the country’s electricity shortage.
The chief justice stated during the hearing that environmental issues had received less attention in the country. The Punjab Health Corporation has denied a request to mine the Mansehra river bed.
He stated that he had converted parks into commercial plazas without considering the environmental impact of the development activity.
The bench stated that it could not permit river deterioration and that the petitioner should seek an alternate location for building purposes while notifying the EPA.
Keep up with Estate Land Marketing for news and updates