ISLAMABAD, Sep 8 (APP): The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) on Thursday directed the project proponent of Aiwan-e-Sayyahat Complex building to revise its environmental management plan (EMP) and estimates which were found incompatible and incomplete.
The public hearing was organised by EPA for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the multi-storey Aiwan-e-Sayyahat Complex building would be implemented by Public Works Department (PWD) and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) through private investment under the Public Private Partnership on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
The public hearing was presided by Deputy Director Laboratories and National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) Dr. Mohsina Zubair flanked by Managing Director PTDC Aftab Ur Rehman Rana and senior engineers of the National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK).
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mohsina said the environmental management plan, which was crucial to ensure safe operations during the construction work, was incomplete and the estimates given were also incompatible to the project needs.
She directed the officials concerned to revise the environmental management plan and give clear estimates for protection and mitigation measures.
Dr Mohsina added that the budget was very low for testing of air, water, soil and other parameters which should also be revised.
She assured that all the suggestions and queries were noted and no progress would be done sans compliance of the recommendations.
She also noted that the Environment Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) despite notices from EPA was not attending the public hearings of EIA Reports.
Managing Director, PTDC Aftab Ur Rehman Rana said the PTDC was a federal entity working to promote tourism that was established in the 1970s. However, after 18th the subject of tourism was devolved to the provinces.
He added that the PTDC important role after that was to collaborate with the provincial departments and international and regional tourism bodies with the main objective to promote Pakistan as a tourist destination.
He briefed the participants that the project of Aiwan-e-Sayyahat would be a complex to facilitate all tourism promotional activities, PTDC headoffice and offices of tourism association, and airlines under one roof.
“It will create a centre of gravity to promote tourism, recreation and attract investment through enhanced facilitation. However, the PC -I has been prepared after Planning Ministry’s approval.”
The project comprised of two basements, ground floor and seven storeys, whereas the authorities concerned would ensure use of eco-friendly techniques including energy efficient, water efficient and rain water harvesting infrastructure to conserve water.
“The first two floors will have Aiwan-e-Sayyahat offices and the rest will be commercial offices. It will be a model project due to its services and eco-friendly practices.”
The aim of the project, he said was to create resources for PTDC through rental income and have a dedicated building for its permanent office.
The rental income, he said, would help finance promotional activities whereas the government was seriously focused on strengthening the tourism sector.
NESPAK consultant, Ramla Siddique gave a detailed briefing on the project’s EIA report. She said the purpose of the project was to have an independent PTDC office at an area of 12.48 kanals land.
The project proponent has proposed a most modern infrastructure for the complex with a glass facade of Low E glass and low emittance windows using proper insulation. The Complex building was 120 feet high with a parking capacity of 300 vehicles that would be constructed in 36 months at a cost of Rs 4.43 billion.