Islamabad: The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak EPA) has come under scrutiny for issuing No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to over 50 percent of housing societies without approved Environmental Impact Reports (EIA). The revelation was made by the Director General of Pak EPA, Ms. Farzana Shah, during an exclusive conversation with “The Reporters” after a meeting of the National Assembly’s standing Committee on Climate Change.
The meeting, held at the Capital Development Authority’s Secretariat, addressed the issue of NOC issuance to housing societies. DG EPA informed the committee that a significant number of housing societies in the federal capital, Islamabad, possess NOCs from CDA and Pak EPA despite lacking approved EIA reports. This situation poses a serious threat to the environment.
In response, Chairman CDA, Akhtar Amin Mangal, stated that CDA issues NOCs only after approval from Pak EPA and other relevant agencies. He emphasized that if Pak EPA has issued NOCs without approved EIA reports, they should cancel those NOCs immediately, and CDA will follow suit.
DG Pak EPA, Farzana Shah, requested one week’s time to take action against housing societies that have obtained NOCs without approved EIA reports. She disclosed that out of the 48 housing societies with Pak EPA NOCs, over 50 percent of them lack approved EIA reports. She assured that all such NOCs issued without approved EIA reports would be canceled within one week.
Additionally, the committee was informed that more than 150 illegal housing societies are operating within the jurisdiction of Islamabad Capital Territory, raising concerns about uncontrolled urban development.