ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted stay against the installation of Heavy Voltage Transmission Line (HVTL) from the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Plant, passing through a village in Murree with directions to respondents to file a reply in the case.
While granting the stay, Justice Athar Minallah directed the Ministry of Water & Power, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), the National Transmission & Dispatch Company (NTDC) and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) to file a reply by October 28.
The order came in response to a petition of the residents of Mouza Sandhian against the HVTL installation through their lands and houses, allegedly putting lives and properties of petitioners’ families at risk.
In June, the court refused to grant a stay against the construction work, observing that the project was of public importance and stay could not be granted without hearing the respondents. But, on Monday, the court issued a stay order and sought reply from respondents in less than a fortnight.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Iesco submitted power of attorney and sought time to submit reply.
Petitioners Muhammad Ishfaq and Muhammad Kamil through their counsel Shafqat Abbasi said the heavy voltage lines cannot be installed near a populated place as it will adversely affect the movement, daily routine work, health, safety and security of the petitioners and their family members.
The HVTL installation is associated with the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Plant which is part of an under construction run-of-the-river hydroelectric power scheme designed to divert water from the Neelum River to a power station on the Jhelum River.
The power station is located in Azad Kashmir – 22 kilometers south of Muzaffarabad – and will have an installed capacity of 969 megawatts. Construction on the project began in 2008 after a Chinese consortium was awarded the construction contract in July 2007.
Courtesy : Express Tribune