ISLAMABAD, June 12: Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court on Tuesday directed the Capital Development Authority to remove encroachments from the commercial areas of the city within a week.

Hearing a public interest litigation, the court also ordered removal of encroachments established  in the shape of sitting areas,  driveways and private food outlets from different commercial centres.

CDA counsel Jawwad Nazir told the court that despite being cold shoulder by the capital territory administration, the civic agency’s enforcement directorate and the anti-encroachment department had been removing encroachments, adding during the last six months over 4,000 items, that were being sold on the encroached land, had been confiscated.

He claimed that CDA also imposed about Rs2 million fine on the encroachers during the last two years.

The counsel said the authority faced numerous problems during anti-encroachment campaigns as trader unions sometimes tried to register cases against the CDA staff and also assaulted them.

The petitioner, Advocate Jehangir Khan Jadoon, adopted before the court that there had been massive encroachments in all markets causing difficulties for shoppers.

Encroachers have covered parking areas and public places while the CDA is initiating no action against them, he added.

He said markets, including Markaz G-9, Super Market, Aabpara Market, Melody Market, Jinnah Super Market, F-8, F-10, F-11, G-10 and G-11 Markaz had been flooded by encroachers.

The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents to clean public places like parking lots and pavements in markets from encroachments.

In another case, the same court directed the CDA officials to take action against the non-conforming use of a residence that was being used as a rehabilitation centre for mentally disturbed and drug addicts.

After the court directions, the CDA sealed the centre established by Zafar Iqbal, the chief executive officer of an NGO, “campaign against terrorism” foundation.

Petitioner Afaq Ahmed, a resident of Sector G-10, through his counsel Mian Riaz told the court that Mr Iqbal had converted a house adjacent to his residence into the rehabilitation centre.

He alleged that Mr Iqbal also raised illegal construction on the first floor of his so-called hospital, leading to entry of addicts and mentally-retarded persons into his house.

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