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Encroachers occupy IJP Road greenbelts

April 11, 2013

ISLAMABAD, April 10: Although the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has been operating against encroachments all over the city, the sensitive greenbelts along the IJP Road in sector I-11 could not be cleared.

At one side of the green belt, there is a fruits-and-vegetable market and on the other, there is public transport stand, due to which this green belt has become a security risk, Dawn has learnt.

Shahid Nazir, resident of sector I-10, said two years ago there were around ten stalls on the green belt and most of them used to sell corn.

However, during the last two years, the number of stalls reached in the hundreds.

An officer of CDA, requesting anonymity, said because the stalls had been established without any planning and there was no record, law enforcement agencies would be unable to find out who was running those stalls if any anti-state activity was to occur.

“Such encroached land can become a security threat any time, but unfortunately, the CDA management is not willing to take action against it,” he said.

Wali Khan, a stall holder, said, “I used to run a stall in fruit and vegetable market but around two years ago, CDA officials, who used to receive a weekly amount, told us to leave the vegetable market. They suggested that stall holders shift to the greenbelt.”

“We are doing business here, and CDA officials get Rs300 from each stall holder every week. In case an operation is conducted, they will inform us to move from here,” he said.

When contacted, the spokesman of CDA Malik Saleem said that on the instructions of Chairman CDA Tahir Shahbaz, enforcement teams had been working round the clock.

“On Tuesday, during an operation in sector H-9, officials of CDA had been injured but the chairman had given a clear direction that encroachments would not be tolerated. Greenbelts along the IJP Road will not be ignored and hopefully an operation will commence next week,” he said.