ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Tuesday pledged to plant 7,400 new trees at Zero Point Interchange in place of 530 trees to be cut during construction activities. In compliance of section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, and IEE/EIA Regulations 2000,a public hearing of Zero Point Interchange Project, Islamabad, was held on Tuesday, which was widely attended by the stakeholders including representatives from public and private sector organisations, academia, environmentalists and media persons. According to details, the CDA officials presented salient features of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report with mitigation plan of the project on the occasion. They informed the forum that about 1,200 trees would be affected due to the execution of the project. Among them 706 will be transplanted. Five hundred and sixty-eight trees have been transplanted and their survival rate is more than 70 percent, they assured the participants. It was also learnt that more then 10,000 indigenous trees would be planted in the project site. In this regard, a landscaping plan is also under consideration of the authority. Speaking on the occasion, Director General of Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) said that although Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project was late submitted but the quality of EIA was adequate and touched all environment aspects. Pak-EPA remained in close liaison with CDA and continuously monitoring environmental condition of the project, he further added. In his concluding remarks he emphasised the provision of solar lights and preparation of comprehensive tree plantation plan. The Project Director in his remarks assured the forum that CDA was committed to maintain safe and secure environment in and around the project. It is to be mentioned here that under Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, EIA study is a mandatory requirement to be conducted and should be submitted to the Federal Environment Protection Agency. However, the CDA officials never bothered to conduct the EIA study before commencing construction of the ZPI project and the attitude hindered the construction activities several times. It was learnt from the official source within the Ministry of Environment that the conducting of EIA study is too much expensive thats why often authorities ignored this obligatory prerequisite for protecting environment.