ISLAMABAD, Nov 8: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Thursday informed Islamabad High Court that it had allotted around 1,000 kiosks to different people without adopting any competitive process since establishment of the federal capital in 1960.
But, surprisingly, half of the kiosks - 500 - were dished out since the PPP-led government took over in 2008.
According to a report submitted to the court by Nazir Jawwad, the CDA counsel, in a public interest litigation seeking removal of encroachments in the city, at least 50 kiosk owners had encroached upon the surrounding lands and turned it into sitting and dining areas.
These encroachers have also established their businesses on state land along main roads in prominent locations like G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11, I-8, I-9, I-10, and F-6, he added.
The encroachers have established restaurants, shops, tea stalls, fruit and vegetable selling points, workshops, huts and even residential rooms on the greenbelts.
The counsel said the authority had served notices on these encroachers and an appropriate legal action would be taken against them soon.
He told the court that at least 300 of the allottees were operating their kiosks in residential and commercial areas for the last several years.
“In the past, there was no hard and fast rule for allotment of kiosks but CDA bosses are now evolving a comprehensive plan for auction of the kiosks,” he added.
After examining the CDA record, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on Thursday referred the matter of allotment of kiosks to the commission he has already constituted to examine the issues related to the civic agency.
On September 10, while hearing identical petitions regarding corruption in the CDA, the judge had constituted the commission to probe into the allegations. The commission comprises Justice (retired) Sardar Raza Khan.
On Thursday, the court also directed the enforcement directorate of the CDA to remove encroachments established by restaurant owners in Shalimar Park from where encroachments created by Khalid Malik, a brother of interior minister Rehman Malik, were removed.
Munir Ranjha, the counsel for Mohammad Zaheer, in whose name Khalid Malik had transferred the licence of a kiosk in Shalimar Park of sector F/7-3, told the court that other restaurants operating in the same area had also encroached upon the park but the CDA was reluctant to take action against them.
It may be mentioned that “Olive Garden, Golden Dragon, Randezvous, Civil Junction and Gelato Affairs” restaurants are operating in the area.
Advocate Ranjha requested the court to constitute a commission to examine these encroachments.
Jahangir Khan Jadoon, the petitioner in the case, told the court that five-star hotels had also encroached upon state land and were utilising it for parking.
After issuing directions to the CDA for retrieving the encroached lands from the hotels, the court adjourned the matter till Tuesday. It also directed the CDA officials to provide complete details of “Moon Star Khalid”, the actual licencee of the kiosk in Shalimar Park, who had transferred it to Mohammad Zaheer. The court also summoned Mr Zaheer on the next date of hearing.
When contacted, CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid told Dawn that chairman Syed Tahir Shahbaz had already constituted a committee to examine the matter regarding allotment of the kiosks.
He said after scrutinising the record, the civic agency would cancel all those allotments which had been made in violation of rules.