RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) will begin a digital survey of its land to define the boundary between Rawalpindi and Islamabad and bring a border dispute between the twin cities to an end.

A senior RCB official told Dawn that Survey of Pakistan has been asked to define the limits of the cantonment areas as some parts along the boundary between the twin cities are still disputed.

Following a digital survey of the cantonment limits, the RCB will install pillars to identify the border, he said. All of the cantonment land will be measured by the survey.

The official said that some 2,509 acres of land between the two cities are disputed, because of which the RCB has faced problems collecting Rs357 million in property taxes every year. There is also a dispute between the cantonment and the city, he said.

He said the civic authorities of the city and the cantonments have difficulty carrying out dengue prevention drives effectively, which is why the borders need to be defined.

Following the survey, the cantonment board will install pillars to identify the border

The 1924 Cantonment Act clearly defined the boundaries of the cantonment limits according to the notification of the federal government, he said. However, the Punjab government and Capital Development Authority present different figures.

The overlapping boundaries of Islamabad and the RCB have led to multiple administrative and security lapses, he said.

He said many areas have been neglected because the RCB was reluctant to begin development work there due to the dispute, causing water supply schemes and the construction of roads, for example, to suffer.

The RCB has raised the issue with the CDA and the district administration, the official said, especially during the last local government elections. However, the issue has yet to be resolved.

When contacted, RCB spokesperson Qaisar Mehmood said work on a survey of the cantonment limits would begin soon.

He said there the dispute over boundary limits had led to a number of administrative issues, but government departments would solve the matter as soon as possible.

The cantonment limits were already defined on paper, he said, but the data needs to be computerised and the Survey of Pakistan will help the RCB in this regard.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019