MURREE: A member of the Punjab Chief Minister’s Inspection Commission reached Murree to prepare a report on ‘illegal’ constructions in the area.

As the member, Arshad Baig, who is also the local government secretary, arrived in Murree on Monday, the local administration officers could not appear before the anti-corruption department Rawalpindi which had summoned them in connection with the illegal constructions.

The Punjab government took the initiative after the rampant ‘illegal’ constructions in Murree were highlighted in the media, asking the anti-corruption department and the inspection commission to probe the allegations.

It may be noted that Director Anti-Corruption Department Rawalpindi Kanwal Batool Naqvi along with her technical team also recently visited Murree.

The Punjab government has decided to initiate probe on large scale constructions that are tarnishing the natural beauty of Murree.

The anti-corruption department on Monday had summoned all the concerned staff of the construction department of the Murree Municipal Committee along with complete records.

In view of the arrival of the inspection committee member in Murree, the local administration sought more time to present the records to the Anti-Corruption Department and asked the member inspection commission to check the illegal constructions through Assistant Commissioner Murree Zahid Hussain and town officer (planning) Samiullah.

When contacted, the assistant commissioner, who also holds the additional charge of town administrator, did not deny the large scale constructions but called them ‘irregular’ not ‘illegal’.

He said the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench had lifted the ban on construction in Murree in 2018 so it was no longer illegal but irregular.

He confirmed that the district anti-corruption team on some applications visited Murree and now the director general chief minister inspection commission visited the town.

He said after lifting of the ban on constructions by LHC new bylaws were needed to be framed and after considering all aspects of the construction mechanism the draft of the bylaws would be submitted to the Punjab government.

He said the preparation of the draft of bylaws was at the final stage and would soon be presented to the government for a decision about the constructions in the town.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2020

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