LAHORE - Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi of the Lahore High Court on Monday expressed dismay over construction of police complex in residential area of Old Anarkali without getting a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Environment Protection Department.

The judge showed his surprised that why the action was not taken against the responsible who carried out construction of the complex in question. He was hearing a petition moved by Khursheed Alam and other residents of the area. During the proceedings, the court was informed that recently an application was received by the Environment Protection Department for an NOC for the project. On this, the judge asked the law officer that why action was not taken against the responsible who initiated the project without getting permission.

“Court knows better about concerns of citizens," the judge remarked.

The petitioners’ counsel contended that the investigation complex was a sensitive installation and it would put lives of the locals in danger. He submitted that the government had intentionally been delaying the proceedings. He pointed out that the government on one hand had been seeking time to file its reply and it had sped up work on the project on the other.  The government, he said, had started the project without getting proper permission. He said that in the past terrorist attacks had taken place on buildings of law enforcement agencies, resulting in loss of life and property. He said that lives of residents of this area were already miserable due to extraordinary security measures taken for the nearby office of the inspector general of Punjab Police . Therefore, he said, construction of a multi-storey police complex on Rabbani Road (Old Anarkali) would entail similar security arrangements and lives of the residents will become a living hell.  The petitioners submitted that the land in question had been previously used for single-storey residences of police officers. They prayed to the court to restrain the authorities from raising construction of the investigation complex . Further hearing was adjourned until Dec 6.