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SHC SENDS NOTICES AGAINST THE DEVELOPMENT OF CREEK MARINA PROJECT TO SEPA, DHA

How long are the Creek Marina victims supposed to wait for the possession handover? Creek Marina started in 2005 with an estimated completion date of 2009. But it is 2021, and still, no luck found as promised by Creek Marina developers.

SEPA has not yet released any initial environmental analysis or environmental impact assessment. Hence, no building can approve in the absence of such NOCs.

The Sindh High Court has given notices to the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the Defense Housing Authority (DHA), and others concerning a petition against the DHA Karachi Creek Marina development scheme.

Case Details 

In the petition, Omair Iqbal submitted that DHA and Meinhardt Singapore had initially entered into an arrangement in 2004 to develop the Creek Marina high-rise tower. But owing to separate litigation, the same could not be completed.

Petitioner counsel submitted that the vital deal was executed on June 18, 2019. Then, it re-launched the initiative and raised the towers from 2 to 8.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that neither in 2004 nor at present was such a promoter authorized by the Sindh Environmental Protection Act. He reported that SEPA had so far refused to issue any initial environmental assessment or environmental impact assessment. Thus, no building could be authorized in the absence of such NOCs.

He argued that the same petition containing such a dispute was already pending before the court. The respondents submitted comments in which, In response to the petition. Such a claim was verified that Creek Marina did not have permission about such environmental assessment certificates and NOCs. Thus, it was explicitly in breach of section 17 of the 2014 Sindh Environmental Protection Act.

He believed that the Creek Marina project was a prime example of an illegitimate project. He submitted that other similar DHA projects were tainted with illegality in phase VIII of the DHA, including the Creek City, Emmar Cresent Bay project. Also, many individuals had lost their investment in the previous projects. Several cases had been pending before the high court.

Court’s Order

The court ordered to rule that DHA’s proposal for the Creek Marina project’s approval without obtaining an environmental NOC. What lies under sections 12 and 17 of the environmental law. The order said that it is unconstitutional and prohibits private builders. Also, it restricts DHA from building the project without obtaining an ecological NOC under the environmental law.

SHC’s division bench headed by Mohammad Shafi Siddiqui, after a preliminary hearing of the petition, sent notices to the SEPA, DHA, creek marina, Clifton cantonment board, and others. Also, he called their comments within two weeks.

Audit Report

The auditor general of Pakistan’s defense services audit report from 2011-12 to 2015-16 also reveals significant anomalies. And it also mentions a lack of accountability in the allocation of land processes.

The report reveals that DHA has no permission to build any residential building on a graveyard-reserved amenity site. Still, in breach of the law, they had constructed the Creek Vista residential project.

The report claimed that neither the board halted the building nor issued any order to demolish it. But it collected a sum of Rs 18,663 million from the occupants of the project located in phase VIII of DHA due to property and conservancy tax.

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