ISLAMABAD, July 6: In the federal capital, if you want to measure the power of an institution, just measure up the size of the area that has been cordoned off from the public.
Taking notice of the increasing encroachments by powerful institutions, the Islamabad High Court on July 4 ordered that the strengths of institutions be limited and directed the authorities to open a major artery blocked by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
In his order, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court asked the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) management to open the road in front of the FIA headquarters in Sector G-9 within a week.
The court gave its directives while hearing a public interest petition filed by Advocate Jahangir Khan Jadoon seeking removal of barriers and encroachments from the road.
According to an official of the CDA, a number of major roads such as the one in front of the Passport and Immigration Cell in Sector G-9, Nadra Headquarters entry point leading towards Radio Pakistan intersection, the service road leading towards PTA Headquarters and the Marriot Hotel in Sector G-5, and Serena Hotel intersection are blocked.
He added: “Many national and multinational institutions have also blocked right of way of the public (like footpaths and blocked parking areas) in Jinnah Super Market by placing concrete blocks as ‘safety measures’.”
Hasan Raza, a pedestrian at the Jinnah Super Market, told Dawn: “These are not just concrete blocks which hinder movement of the public, rather a few companies have also placed barbed wires making access for pedestrians almost difficult.”
While talking to Dawn the chairman of the CDA Farkhand Iqbal claimed: “We will be opening every blocked artery of the capital wherever it might be, and I will be giving orders to the Enforcement Division to clear all blocked roads in a short span.”
The chairman maintained that his management will be opening the FIA’s blocked road in the shortest possible time and “I have passed the directions to the Enforcement Division to clear the blockades in minimum possible time.”
Mr Iqbal added that and another blocked artery in front of the Passport and Immigration department in Sector G-9 will also be cleared in shortest quickest possible time.
“I will be part of the anti-encroachment drive and will personally monitor it,” added the chairman. He said that the Islamabad Police will be taken on board to ease the congestion on the main roads of the city because of the check posts established by the police on several roads of capital.