ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is mulling action against officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) whose negligence or connivance led to encroachments on state land in the city.
NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal while addressing a function at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Tuesday hinted at initiating action against those officials who allegedly helped encroachments to flourish.
In reply to a question from the business community about the grand anti-encroachment operation, the NAB chief said: “In the next phase, action will be taken against those who allowed such encroachments to flourish.”
Action will be taken against officials who allowed encroachments, retired Justice Javed Iqbal says
During the three-day operation, the CDA removed over 50 structures, including marquees, shops and houses, which were constructed on the right of way of Kashmir Highway in G-12.
The CDA, whose land worth billions of rupees has been under illegal occupation, never conducted a forceful operation to remove encroachments in the past.
But during the last three days, it pulled down illegal structures with the support and backing of the federal government, police and the capital administration.
However, sources said, action should also be taken against those officials who never bothered to take action when the illegal structures were being raised on the state land.
They said instead of taking action to halt the illegal construction at the initial stages, the officials kept themselves restricted to issuing “notices.”
On Monday, a subcommittee of the Senate also recommended that action should be initiated against those officials of the civic agency whose connivance or negligence had led to the mushroom growth of encroachments on the state land.
Meanwhile, sources in the CDA said the operation had been stopped for a few days and would be restarted in phases. In the next phase, the operation would target the urban parts of the capital.
Plantation of saplings on the land retrieved during the operation is also being planned.
CDA spokesperson Safdar Shah said the civic agency would also initiate action against officials who were supposed to stop illegal construction on the state land but failed to do so.
“As far as halting of the grand operation is concerned, it had already been decided that during Muharram the drive would be stopped,” he said.
The sources said besides encroachment, unauthorised construction on private land was another challenge. Thousands of buildings have been constructed in violation of the building bylaws, particularly in rural areas of the capital.
A senior official of the civic agency said the CDA never exercised its building bylaws beyond the urban areas, providing a free hand to people to construct commercial and residential buildings of their own will that resulted in the mushroom growth of illegal constructions in rural areas, including Banigala.
The CDA’s record shows that thousands of kanals is under illegal occupation of various individuals and housing societies.
The right of way of various roads, including IJP Road, is also under illegal occupation while in various areas land acquired by the civic agency is still under the occupation of the locals.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2018