LAHORE - Green B7ench of the Lahore High Court on Friday stopped Model Town Society (MTS) from continuing its three commercial projects at the cost of trees and green places in the parks of the area.

The bench comprising Justice Mansoor Ali Shah stopped J Block Commercialization Project, Liner Park Commercialization Project, and Model Town Park Commercialization Project planned by the MTS by getting approval in its Annual General Meeting held on December 12, 2012.

To further the project, the MTS had started construction at Model Town Park under J Block Commercialization Project, with the court had stopped.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah granted stay and issued notice to the respondents including president and secretary of Model Town Society, and Director General of environment protection agency, Registrar of Cooperation Society Punjab for March 29. The judge issued this order on a petition filed by Tanwir Ahmed and Advocate Uzair Karamat Bhandari, both residents of the society.

The petitioners submitted that green areas of Model Town are not just large but well kept visually beautiful and the sites of numerous activities which contributes t the life and health of its residents and the large communities of Lahore and the Punjab. They said Tourism Development Corporation of Pakistan has declared Mode Town Park as one of the top 10 parks of the Punjab. He said the park comprising 125 acres have a 2.5 kilometer long jogging track.

He said on December 2, 2012 annual general meeting of Model Town Society illegally approved the three projects illegally and against the by-laws of the MTS.

The petitioners alleged that the AGM was attended by various non members with the intentions of the MBS elected body to further their agenda. They said the real members were not allowed to give their proposals at the AGM. He said the agenda which got approved was read out hastily before the AGM and was gotten approved in a show of hand. They said they suggested a secret balloting but no one paid heed towards their demand.

They said, however in February 2003, the respondents hewed hundreds of trees to initiate J Block Commercialization Project.

They prayed the court to declare the commercialization projects illegal and permanently restrain the MTS from attempting to commercialize green spaces and from proceeding with the commercial projects.

The petitioners further prayed to declare the act of the MTS’s act of cutting tree and damaging the nursery of J Block as illegal and to restrain the MTS from continuing any such project without fulfilling the requirements of Pepa and fulfill the requirements of Environment Impact Assessment.

NDLM to continue efforts for education : The National Digital Literacy Movement (NDLM) will continue its efforts to provide the masses with access for better education, healthcare and basic services.

The speakers said this while addressing an interactive session on the growth of technology with a panel of leading women achievers in the field of technology. The panel included Jehan Ara (president PSHA and Bolo Bhi), Nezihe Hussain (Founder, SWOT), Salma Jafri (Content Marketer, Social Media Trainer and Writer) and Sana Salim (director Bolo Bhi).

They said the movement focused on digital literacy, problem-solving and collaboration skills for professional and personal growth of the masses.

The education was a fundamental right for everyone and the technology played as a major role like an accelerator in improving quality of and access to education, they said.

During the session, inspirational stories of people who have benefitted from programmes like Intel Easy Steps.

They said in a developing country like Pakistan when the masses were empowered with technological tools, resources and opportunities to learn they could not only transform their lives but also help to improve lives of everyone around them.