CDA points out irregularities in sailing club’s construction

Published October 11, 2020
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has pointed out a number of irregularities in the construction of the Navy Sailing Club as well as informing the Islamabad High Court about unfulfilled obligations of Naval Farms. — Photo courtesy Navy Sailing Club Facebook page
The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has pointed out a number of irregularities in the construction of the Navy Sailing Club as well as informing the Islamabad High Court about unfulfilled obligations of Naval Farms. — Photo courtesy Navy Sailing Club Facebook page

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has pointed out a number of irregularities in the construction of the Navy Sailing Club as well as informing the Islamabad High Court about unfulfilled obligations of Naval Farms.

In an affidavit submitted to the IHC, CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed stated: “CDA has time and again informed the Navy about this unauthorised construction but despite that the building has been constructed.

“The structure is ground plus one building in which a dining room, offices, store hall for boats, swimming pool and kitchen are on the ground floor while a dining room, gymnasium, and two residential suites are on the first floor.”

Mr Ahmed added that the building was constructed on CDA land “without proper allotment” by the authority. He said the land was taken by the Pakistan Navy pursuant to directives from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in the 1990s.

The affidavit stated that the club is located in Zone III, the Margalla Hills National Park. The national park has been declared a protected area by the federal government.

It said that certain activities are permitted under the law which can be carried out subject to condition that these should not defeat the purpose of declaring this area as national park. Permissible activities include recreation and the construction of certain buildings.

IHC informed of unfulfilled obligations of Naval Farms in affidavit submitted by authority’s head

Mr Ahmed also admitted to the CDA’s silence on the unauthorised construction, but added: “There are five other relevant authorities who remained silent including the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board, Environment Protection Agency, Ministry of Climate Change and particularly Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad as well as control over the environment wing, and Small Dams Organisation of Punjab.”

He said that since October last year, the CDA has served notices regarding building plan violations to the club but to no avail.

Mr Ahmed said that the Naval Farms, project was permitted in accordance with the provision of the 1992 Zoning Regulations. The scheme was approved on March 13, 1993, on 2,343.3 kanals of land with access on Simly Dam Road in Zone IV.

He said the navy submitted an extension in the project, which is under process.

Mr Ahmed added that the CDA had invited objections from the public at large on the land under the scheme.

During the hearing, the counsel for the naval authorities argued that the court’s observations created problems for the institution, to which IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah remarked that when the navy engages in real estate business its conduct will come under judicial scrutiny.

Justice Minallah said that if an institution wants to indulge in commercial activities, the courts cannot turn a blind eye towards them.

He asked the counsel for the naval authorities, the CDA and the petitioners to focus their arguments on legal provisions and adjourned further hearing until Oct 17.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2020

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