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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to remove encroachments on main roads, including those by a number of state institutions.

IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while hearing identical petitions against encroachment, directed the CDA’s director enforcement to ensure that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) clears the service road of its encroachments for its Iqbal Town office.

On March 14, the Supreme Court, while taking notice of encroachments around two hotels, had directed the CDA to submit a report on its anti-encroachment drives.

Justice Siddiqui also directed the CDA to ensure that other parts of the city that have been encroached on by other departments are cleared.

Authority told to ensure media houses vacate residential premises

The CDA informed the court that contrary to regulations on nonconforming use, ARY, Bol and other television channels are operating out of residential areas.

During the hearing, the court directed the CDA to ensure that all media houses operating out of residential areas vacate the premises and stop the nonconforming use of residential buildings, failing which action may be initiated against them in accordance with the CDA’s laws and regulations, which include sealing and cancellation of the lease.

CDA allowed to clear expressway

Justice Siddiqui withdrew a decade-old stay order that allowed filling stations and marquees direct access to the Islamabad Expressway.

He directed the CDA to refer the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to determine which officials and private individuals were responsible and proceed against them in accordance with the law.

CDA counsel Kashif Ali Malik said direct access from the expressway was not only inconvenient for commuters but also a reason for fatal accidents.

The written reply submitted before the IHC civic agency stated that: “CDA issued no objection certificate (NOC) for establishment of petrol pumps/CNG filling stations along various roads including Islamabad Highway to Koral Chowk. CDA has constructed service roads on both sides… CDA granted permission of direct access from Islamabad Highway to 13 Petrol Pump / CNG stations. Due to the security reason this permission of direct access was withdrawn on November 03, 2008.”

The authority revived permission for direct access on Dec 24, 2011, the reply added.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2018