Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment Process: Case Study of the Signal Free Corridor and the Orange Line Metro Projects of Lahore, Punjab

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Marietta Blau Saal (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Shazia PERVAIZ, Lahore College for Women University, Pakistan, Pakistan
Public participation in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is mandatory legislative requirement under Section 10 of EIA Regulations, 2000 for environmental approval (EA). Public involvement in development projects is particularly based on equity and social justice principles. It is not only to protect individual rights which may be directly affected by the project but it also provides transparency to the whole project. To keep into account the importance of public participation in EIA, this article is designed with reference to the recent on-going Signal Free Corridor on Jail Road and Orange Line Metro projects of Lahore, Punjab. The specific objectives of the article are to identify the mechanism and level of public participation in EIA process and assess the outcome of public participation in above selected projects. The  results of study conducted so far reveal that vital part of EIA process is mere symbolic due to substantial political influence, lack of environmental awareness, meaningless, pseudo, fraudulent citizen input and the farcical exercise of public hearing. Based on the results, there is dire need to improve the predictive quality of EIA by placing sufficient emphasis on public involvement in EIA process and strengthen the legal and technical framework thus the outcome of this process would be most effective and productive.