‘Housing Societies Violating Environmental Laws Will Be Punished’, Minister Zartaj Gul

The minister will further empower the EPA to take action against the offenders.

Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul has said the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) will take action against those housing societies that are violating environmental laws and green belts in Islamabad.

Most of the housing societies, despite being approved in the federal capital were using green belts as commercial plots, she told in an exclusive interview with a news outlet. The minister said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was holding public hearings of all developmental projects and housing societies in that matter.

But, the minister will further empower the EPA to take action against the offenders.

“The EPA is doing a commendable job within its limited workforce and resources whereas the ministry is also taking it seriously to scale up the EPA’s structure for better environment conservation and monitoring”, she said.

The Minister also observed that some housing societies were also using parks and green belt areas for commercial purposes, which were initially supposed to be used for plantations.
The societies had obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) by showing those areas as parks and green belts in their environmental assessment reports that they presented to the EPA for approval of their projects.

Zartaj said that the NOC of approved housing societies ’would be canceled if they are against the law. Prime Minister Imran Khan has removed the cap for construction for highrise buildings in the federal capital, which would help in the promotion of vertical skyscrapers and save the land from destruction by horizontal housing projects.

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