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NHA environment section takes care of environmental aspects of national highways.

ISLAMABAD:National Highway Authority (NHA) is

committed to build environment-friendly roads while integrating

environmental, economic and community goals into the planning,

design, construction and operation of national highways.

To shape this commitment into reality, an Environment Section

has been formed at NHA headquarters to take care of environmental

aspects of highways. Main tasks performed by Environmental section

include screening of projects according to Pakistan Environmental

Protection Act, hiring of consultant to prepare environment impact

assessment, preparation of terms of reference for consultants,said an

official of NHA, Monday.

The NHA environmental section is also responsible for review of

initial environmental examination report and environment impact

assessment, it also coordinates with Environment Protection Agency

(EPA) and International Financial Institutions and Agencies for

approval and organizes and conducts public hearing and does

processing of progress reports Conduct-environmental audits.

It also prepare due diligence reports and environmental grievances redressal.

Environmental Management System at different stages is as follows.

At the planning stage the environmental cell does initial

Environmental Impact Assessment at the conception of project and

selection of road alignment having minimum environmental and social

consequences. He said that a comprehensive Environmental Impact

Assessment study is carried out for selected alignment and

environmental mitigation cost is included in PC-1.

At construction stage Site Specific Environmental Management and

Monitoring Plans are formulated and implemented by the environmental

section and Environmental Site Inspections performance monitoring

are also done.

The section also organizes environmental audits at the end of

construction stage and monitoring reports are prepared and submitted

to concerned quarters.

He said at the execution stage,traffic safety signboards are

placed by tree plantation is done by the NHA environmental cell ; highways

and motorway police is deputed. He said that there is system of taxes and penalties

in case environmental pollution.

He said that at present NHA is implementing a large number of

projects with the assistance International Financial Institutions

(IFIs) such as World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan

International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Islamic development Bank

(IDB), which are subject to the IFI's Environmental & Social Safeguard

Policies. Some of the exemplary projects with respect to Environmental

Management in NHA are E-35 and M-4.

He said that NHA is determined to carry out afforestation across

highways and motorways. In this regard approximately 5.3 million

trees/ plants have been planted in the right of way and in medians

along motorways and highways for beautification, landscaping and to

control environment pollution since 1993 to 2017.

Recently FWO in collaboration with NHA has planted 300,000 plants on

Islamabad-Lahore Motorway.
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Publication:Daily the Pak Banker (Lahore, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Feb 5, 2018
Words:426
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