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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday restrained private housing society from converting land reserved for amenities into residential or commercial units.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq, while hearing a petition filed by residents of Bahria Garden City, also issued notices to the Capital Development Authority and Bahria Town CEO seeking their responses.

Petitioners Abrar Hussain and retired Lt Col Sohail Ahmed are among 46 golfers whose golf club memberships were revoked by Bahria Town for protesting the conversion of amenity land meant for the golf club into residential and commercial plots.

The 46 individuals include were members of the Garden City Golf and Country Club, where Bahria Town had planned two nine-hole golf courses spread over 571.1 kanals. Golf course I, measuring 350.37 kanals, has already been developed.

The golfers were part of a 50-member joint action committee (JAC) that was constituted on Feb 5 against the conversion of around 250 kanals reserved for golf course II, and 38.14 kanals meant for a club house.

When the JAC expressed its concerns to Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz, the housing society cancelled the memberships of 46 of its members.

The petition filed in the IHC cited the CDA, the Bahria Town CEO and the Pakistan Golf Federation as respondents.

It said the land in question fell within the CDA’s jurisdiction because it was situated in Islamabad Zone V.

It argued that the CDA had approved a layout plan for Bahria Garden City that included two nine-hole golf courses and a club house, which had also been uploaded to the CDA’s website.

The petition also said that Bahria Town had also advertised a “Championship 18-holes USGA Standard Golf Course” and a club house.

It said that when Bahria Town began constructing on amenity land, the matter was brought to the CDA’s notice but to no avail.

The petition has asked the court to direct the CDA and other respondents to implement the approved layout plan and to restrain Bahria Town from converting amenity land into residential and commercial plots.

Justice Farooq admitted the petition for regular hearing after a preliminary hearing, and directed the CDA to restrain the housing society from violating the approved plan.

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2018