ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has submitted the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the Kashmir Highway Project to the Ministry of Environment, TheNation has learnt. Although under Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, EIA study is a mandatory requirement to be conducted and should be submitted to Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA). However, CDA officials never bothered to conduct the EIA study before commencing construction of various development projects. The project of Kashmir Highway is a first-ever project of CDA, for which the Authority has presented its EIA report to Pak-EPA before starting construction work. According to official sources, the EIA study of the said project that was conducted by the National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) has been presented to the high-ups of Pak-EPA. The written undertaking of EIA study stated that the CDA would plant ten times more than the number of actual trees that would be cut during construction activities of the project. It is estimated that there are about 40,000 trees in the way, however a total of 2,050 trees will be affected during the implementation of the project. Out of 2,050 affected trees, 405 Paper Mulberry and eucalyptus trees will be removed and the remaining 1,645 trees will be transplanted, it added. In addition to 1645 trees, the EIA report further stated that 17,400 trees would be planted during operational phase of the project, which would result in ecological improvement. The EIA report also suggested various options regarding mitigation of the dust problem. According to details, the project comprises widening of existing Kashmir Highway from Peshawar Mor to Golra Mor. An official source within the Ministry of Environment, who was close to the development told TheNation that the CDA officials had presented EIA report to the Environment Protection Agencys officials during a public hearing held on Tuesday. He also informed that all the relevant stakeholders, including officials of the Environment Ministry, Pak-EPA, CDA and representatives of general public participated in the public hearing and discussed the important matters regarding protection of environment during execution of the Kashmir Highway Project.