Dawn News

ISLAMABAD, July 4: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to open within a week the road in front of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headquarters in Sector G-9.

The court, hearing a public interest petition of Jahangir Khan Jadoon advocate seeking removal of barrier and encroachment from the road, also directed the CDA chairman to submit details of all the billboards, hoardings and other publicity signboards installed at various locations in the federal capital.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while passing these directions observed that the rent of most of the advertising sites was going into the pockets of private parties and the CDA was getting only peanuts.

During the hearing, the CDA counsel Nazir Jawwad told the court that enforcement directorate has issued notices to all the government and private sector’s organisations that encroached upon the roads and closed them for general public.

He said a notice for removal of blocks and barriers was issued to the FIA but due to the presence of the office of another intelligence agency in the vicinity of FIA, the road could not be cleared as yet.

The CDA director (enforcement) Ramzan Joeya appeared before the court and said that during the anti-encroachment campaign, they had confiscated 4,000 items from the encroachers and fined them to the tune of Rs2 million.

The court expressed dissatisfaction over the CDA anti-encroachment campaign and said that in the photos and videos submitted along with the report in this regard, the CDA officials had been removing the poor stall vendors and ignored the road in front of Serena and Marriot hotels. “Why the authority was hesitant to take action against the big-wigs,” the judge asked.

The court observed that the CDA should remove encroachments not only from the roads in front of the FIA but from all other government departments including intelligence agencies as well as from the areas adjacent to the five star hotels of Islamabad.

The petitioner advocate Jadoon told the court that in addition to the encroachment, there was a flood of billboards, hoardings, signboards and other outdoor publicity material in the city that not only created mess but also caused threat to the human lives especially during the rainy seasons or storms.

He alleged that the CDA directorate of municipal administration had secretly allotted most of the expensive outdoor media sites to the brother of Rehman Malik the interior ministry’s adviser.

Upon this, the court sought the reply of the CDA director municipal administration Mansoor Ali Khan and adjourned the hearing till the last week of July.

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