PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed the Galyat Development Authority (GDA) to prepare the feasibility report of “illegally” constructed Samundar Katha Lake in Harnoi, Nathia Gali, and submit it to the court in two and a half months.

A two-judge green bench of PHC headed by Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan heard the case against the lake. When the hearing begun, Justice Qaiser questioned, is any NOC was issued by the concerned department and permission was sought before constructing the lake in 2017? However, no satisfactory response was provided. Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Hayat Shah, Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Asghar, who depended the government in the case, assured that a detailed report will be submitted to the court about the legal status of the lack.

Directed General Galyat Development Authority Raza Ali Habib, representatives of Environmental Protection Agency and other concerned officials also appeared before the bench. The court was further informed that artificially constructed lake is a tourists’ attraction and also stores 1.7 million gallons of water on which the court raised the point, what if there is a crack in the lake, who will be responsible?

Illegal constructions and an amusement park has also been constructed the lake. Director General of Galyat Development authority sought time from the court to submit a feasibility report. Under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa building rules, no one is allowed to construct and design any structure without taking NOC from concerned departments.

Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that he would not allow any activity which could harm the people and the environment of the area. The judge directed the DG to visit the lake himself and assess whether the lake is in the interest of the people or only a few influential are benefiting from it. The bench has directed the representatives of all concerned agencies including DG Galyat to prepare feasibility report about the legal status of the lake till next hearing. The case was adjourned till September 16.


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