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Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited’s uplift scheme to get green nod

Karachi, August 21, 2013 (PPI-OT): Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh has decided to process further the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of KESC’s development project envisaging 132 KV OH/UG transmission line from Baldia to Valika grid station and diversion from Jacob Line Garden East ckt II to Gizri. It was decided in a public hearing of the subject project chaired by Mr Waqar Hussain Phulpoto, Director Technical of EPA Sindh held in a local hotel (Regent Plaza) on Tuesday here.

The EIA is about the proposed sites i.e. Baldia to Valika transmission line and existing Jacob Line grid line diversion project. The project of 132 KV single circuit power transmission (overhead and underground) network of KESC is about 9.5 km distance and it will be constructed from Baldia to Valika which aims to manage overloading on the existing transmission lines/net work and to improve electric supply quality of the adjoining area as well as to cater the future needs in the area of Ittihad Town, Naval Colony, Saeedabad, Manghopir, Qasba Colony and Orangi Town.

Briefing the participants of public hearing, the KESC General Manager(Corporate Safety and Environment) Mr Chandar Parkash stated that proposed project will also reduce energy losses during transmission of electricity and he also said that the aim of EIA is to assist in the decision making process and to ensure that project is environmentally sound and legally compliant because the proposed project falls under the category of (transmission line II KV and Grid Stations) as per guidelines issued by SEPA under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 (PEP Act 1997) and according to it project under this category requires an EIA before the execution of the project.

GM KESC further said that demand of electricity has been increasing and this trend is expected to continue as a result of ongoing economic momentum in the city. “It’s also due to increase in population, industrialization and increase in per capita income and in order to match the demand of investment in various sectors of power generation network and the objective of the proposed project is to increase the efficiency, reliability and quality of electricity supply in terms of overall commercial and technical viability” he added. He said that the commissioning of this grid station will also relieve the overloaded grids of adjacent areas as well.

On this occasion the consultant of the project Mr Saleemuzzaman of Global Environmental Management Services (GEMS) talked about the technicalities during construction and operational phase and in terms of their effects on water resources, air quality, ambient noise, impact on soil and landscape etc and said all mitigation measures should be taken to minimize the adverse effects and every effort would be made to minimize the excavation and also the contractor will be required to enforce strict measures during digging. Similarly to control ambient noise preventive measures will be taken by carefully planning the machinery operations and for that purpose use of low-noise equipment and scheduling of operation only during the day time will be made.

The consultant further stated that the area is almost barren so no changes will occur in the existing flora and fauna due to construction and similarly no sites of religious, cultural or historical consideration is present near the proposed site so no significant negative impact will occur on socio economic settings.

In the end participants of the public hearing asked questions pertaining to the project and expressed their views and environmental concerns during the execution and post-execution of the referred project. Replying the queries the Director (Technical) of SEPA Mr Waqar Hussain said that despite of handful of resources the environmental watchdog is playing its role effectively to ensure environmental compliance by the proponents of development projects as much as it can.

At the end Director Technical of SEPA has sum up the proceeding and said that all aspects of the proposed project will be taken under consideration by SEPA and proponents will be made bound to ensure every possible step during the execution of the project to protect the environment and a detail presentation will be carried out in a expert committee of SEPA accordingly to give environmental approval to the referred project. It may be pointed out that the compensation regarding cutting of trees and contingency/emergency response plan are to be submitted by the proponent before taking final action.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Syed Muhammad Yahya
Deputy Director (Lab)
Sindh Environmental Protection Agency
EPA-Complex, Plot # Street # 2/1,
Sector # 23, Korangi Industrial Area,
Karachi
Phone: +92-21-5065946
Fax: +92-21-5065940

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