Owing to negligence of Capital Development Authority (CDA) – a small project of extension of busy Embassy Road has been facing delay as the civic agency is not taking interest in this project anymore, even after chopping off a large number of trees for the matter.The CDA had started this project at the beginning of last year, however when the matter was highlighted by environmentalists, the CDA lost its interest in this project. When the matter was taken up the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the CDA never followed the case properly that resulted in the project being put to a halt.CDA Spokesman Malik Salim on Wednesday, while talking exclusively to Daily Times said that because of concerns of EPA, the project was delayed. He said that on last Thursday, the final hearing of the case was held and CDA is hopeful that decision will be in their favour. “We will receive written orders of final hearing by EPA, in the coming days, then we will start this project,” he said, adding that the road is part of a master plan of CDA.He said that in lieu of chopped trees, CDA had planted a large number of trees in the same area. “During the hearings, we removed all concerns of environment agency, so we are optimistic, the decision will be in our favour,” he said and claimed that work will start immediately after getting orders of EPA. In October last year, the environment watchdog had directed the civic agency to stop work on the project as the trees had been chopped without intimating the agency. The environment agency also issued an environment protection order (EPO), whose last hearing was held last Thursday.The CDA cut the trees, including pines, which take decades to grow to pave way for the expansion of Attaturk Avenue, commonly known as Embassy Road. Earlier, the environment agency in February 2016 granted approval to the CDA for the expansion of the road. But through a letter, the environment agency had warned the CDA that in case of violation of the environment agency’s directives, it would proceed against the civic agency under Article 17 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997.Pak-EPA, while issuing EPO had stated that civic agency was supposed to submit a list of trees, including their ages and species, before cutting them, which the CDA did not and cut of trees.“Why CDA has failed to get clearance from environment agency, is a matter of negligence. It seems, the CDA was only interested in cutting off trees,” residents say.Published in Daily Times, July 5th 2018.