Top court slams CDA for inaction on Islamabad's development issues

Published April 4, 2019
"If you are not worthy of this position, why are you sitting here, please go somewhere else," CDA chief told. — Kalbe Ali/File
"If you are not worthy of this position, why are you sitting here, please go somewhere else," CDA chief told. — Kalbe Ali/File

Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday, while hearing a suo motu case concerning illegal constructions in Islamabad's Banigala area, expressed severe dissatisfaction with the Capital Development Authority's (CDA) performance.

"The point behind making Islamabad the federal capital is lost, mountains and forests have been eradicated, streams and rivers are full of trash, [and] have you seen the Rawal lake?" Justice Gulzar asked CDA Chairmen Amir Ahmed Ali, who was present in court today.

When the CDA chairman tried to clarify his position, Justice Gulzar said: "Please do not give us [excuses], if you do not want to work, please go somewhere else."

"Tell us if you complied with the court's orders," Justice Gulzar asked the CDA chairman. The chairman answered in the negative, saying the authority could not fully comply with the court's orders.

"Go, look at what is happening at the new airport. Do you want to turn the whole city into a slum? We were under the impression that such a state of affairs only exists in Karachi," Justice Gulzar replied.

"If you are not worthy of this position, why are you sitting here? Please go somewhere else, you already got your plot," he continued.

"Since I have come to Islamabad, I have seen that you have been unable to complete work on the Kashmir Highway; incomplete structures have been left as they are; and you never thought that criminals and drug addicts will take refuge here. This is your performance," the judge railed.

"You just keep making and selling plots and creating slums. I am amazed: Is this even Islamabad?" he remarked

Responding to the judge, the CDA chairman said "God willing, we will work [to make things better]."

"What do you mean, God willing? tell us what planning you have done. What a blessed day it will be when you will do some work. When will that moon arise?" Justice Gulzar asked

The CDA chairman asked for a month's time, "I will show you my performance."

The bench, having received the assurance, adjourned hearing the case for a month.

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