LAHORE-Lahore Bachao Tehreek (LBT) (a platform representing diverse groups, organisations and individuals concerned about the City environment) have demanded immediate suspension of widening of Lahore Canal Road Project, as it was likely to harm the original beauty of the City. While addressing to a meeting held at Liberty Market here on Monday, Saima Khawaja, environmental lawyer, Imrana Tiwana, LBT Convener, Tamkinat Karim, daughter of a renowned Pakistani English late poet Taufiq Rafat and enthusiastic worker of LBT, Rabia Nadir, Rizwan Mehmood, WWF Manager Fresh Water and Toxic Programme, and Rafay Alam, disclosed that as per requirements of the law a public hearing of the Environment Impact Assessment was held last year at local hotel and they had convinced the Punjab Government to withdraw this project. Imrana Tiwana said that against the ill-conceived project and the poor quality of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted by National Engineering Services of Pakistan (NESPAK) consultants last year about the widening of Lahore Canal, she told the committee that this project was likely to spoil the attraction of cultural hub, Lahore. Saima Khawaja said that widening the Canal was historically a flawed solution for the traffic problem on the said road as the widened roads only attract more traffic and eventually end up being inadequate for the ever increasing traffic load. LBT urged the City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) alongwith the Government of the Punjab and the Traffic Engineering & Planning Agency (TEPA) to withdraw this project, costing million of rupees. The approved project by the Punjab Government envisaged construction and widening of the roads on the both sides of Lahore Canal, construction of footpath, service road, overhead bridge, bus stop, green areas and recreational facilities as well. Red crosses have also been put to mark at least 10,000 trees singled out for cutting though the City administration claims the marks are for counting purposes only. According to the Punjab Government, the removal of hurdles in the flow of traffic would enhance the beauty of the canal and save it from pollution. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has already granted approval to the project of widening of Canal Road, which will be executed in three phases. The first phase of the project from Thokar Niaz Beg to Dharampura will be completed within a year at a cost of Rs 3.15 billion.