The Lahore High Court (LHC) has extended its stay till 4 March in the River Ravi project case, restraining the Punjab government from acquiring agricultural land for developing the project.
The court has sought a reply from the provincial government in the next hearing.
The petitioner, Hassan Ali Ranjha, a resident of T&T Abpara Housing Society, filed the petition in which he said that the land which is being acquired by the government will lead to environmental pollution and severe smog in the vicinity.
The petitioner claimed that the Ravi Urban Development Authority began “acquiring land without disclosing the public purpose and without seeking the environmental impact assessment of the project”.
“Large swathes of agricultural land is likely to be gobbled up which would further hamper the biological diversity keeping in view Convention on Biological Diversity and public trust doctrine”.
The petitioner asserted that the Punjab government must disclose its purpose for acquiring this land and issue a notification under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.
Additionally, the petitioner stated that the display of power by the authority must be declared illegal.
The court, on 25 February, ordered the government to appoint an international consultant for the environmental assessment of the project and said that unless the project is cleared by all the environmental agencies, it must be halted.