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Islamabad High Court Extends Stay Order Against Bhara Kahu Bypass Project Over QAU

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) prolonged its stay order against the Bhara Kahu bypass project on Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) land on Tuesday. Five QAU faculty members petitioned the IHC to stop the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from building a bypass on a portion of university land. Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb presided over the decision.

Hafiz Arafat, Capital Development Authority (CDA) lawyer, testified that no structures needed to be removed for Bhara Kahu Bypass. He added that the institution has not signed a leasing arrangement with the CDA in 40 years, unlike other Islamabad universities.

Under the lease agreement, CDA forfeits the right to start any public-interest initiative, the attorney added. He stated that CDA was under no obligation to not start a project on QAU land as the institute did not sign a lease agreement. The judge called for the next session on this case on December 9.

The Alumni Association QAU, better known as Quaideen, demanded the relocation of the Bhara Kahu Bypass project. The pre-approved bypass route cuts through the QAU land dividing it in half. The association has also proposed a new route for the project as the flyover on Bhara Kahu appears to be challenging due to expense and pressure from retailers.

Murtaza Noor, Secretary-General of Quaideen, told a media outlet that the bypass project should begin at Green Bus Terminal instead of Malpur. He added that a small tract of QAU land leading to Bokhari Road north of Murree Road can connect it to the existing 600-foot-wide bypass location, from which it can enter Bhara Kahu at Kiani Road after crossing Shahdara Nullah.

Another Quaideen representative stated that the current project layout would use up a portion of QAU’s land, which CDA could simply replace with an adjacent area. He emphasized that this proposed method is sensible and does not divide the university’s territory. The Campus Community favors this route from Green Terminal to Bokhari-Kiani Roads, he added.

The association has requested Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to reconsider the decision to have the bypass cut through QAU land.

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