ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has served a notice to the Pakistan Navy Sailing Club for its illegal and unauthorised construction.

According to the notice, which was sent by the CDA’s building control section and is available with Dawn, the Pakistan Navy Sailing Club has been directed to immediately stop illegal and unauthorised construction of the club building.

“It has once again come to the notice of the authority that illegal construction activities have been resumed and the club has been made functional. This is sheer violation of CDA [by-laws] which needs to be halted immediately,” it says.

“You are directed to immediately stop the illegal/unauthorised construction work and functional activities of Pakistan Navy Sailing Club. It may be noted that if you fail to comply, CDA will take action regarding removal/demolition of illegal/unauthorised structure forcefully at your risk and cost,” the notice added.

Environmentalist Dr Mohammad Irfan Khan told Dawn that Rawal Lake, a reservoir for drinking water, should not be used for such activities.

“Moreover, such projects cannot be established with social and environmental impact assessments. It is in sheer violation of section 12 of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, the Pak-EPA Review of Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2000,” he said.

Dr Irfan added that Rawal Dam may be called a dam, but it is not like Tarbela or Mangla Dam. The water in the lake is used for drinking, and according to Supreme Court orders even motorboats are prohibited in the reservoir.

A senior Pakistan Navy official who asked not to be named said that the navy will respond after deliberations, but added that the sailing club has been operational since the 1990s. He said divers are trained at the sailing club and take part in rescue operations in the northern areas and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, as this is the only such facility in the north of the country.

He said the club also received a notice from the CDA last September, and told the authority in response that the construction was being carried out to upgrade the facility. The official said they are planning to hold sailing competitions and a tournament in the coming months.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2020

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