Published Sep 11, 2018 06:39am

More illegal structures pulled down

Kashif Abbasi
An illegally-constructed plaza is being razed in G-12 on Monday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: On the third day of the anti-encroachment operation, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday removed dozens of illegal constructions on the right of way of Kashmir Highway.

The civic agency, which has been carrying out the operation with the backing of the federal government, also demolished several structures illegally constructed on the right of way of G-12.

According to the CDA, the constructions which were demolished on the third day included 50 shops, 12 residential houses, three markets, two three-storey plazas and one service station.

CDAs spokesperson Safdar Shah said the demolished houses were voluntarily vacated by the illegal occupants.

He said the CDA had served several notices on the illegal occupants but to not avail.

“The operation is being conducted with the support of law enforcement agencies and the district administration. All concerned state departments are working as a team,” he said.

The operation on Monday started with a delay as the police and district administration officials were busy in security duty during the hearing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s case in the accountability court.

Meanwhile, former PML-N lawmakers

Anjum Aqeel Khan and Malik Abrar said before launching the operation the CDA should have taken the local people into confidence.

Addressing a press conference, they said through the operation the CDA was rendering a large number of people unemployed. The PML-N leaders said they would protect the rights of the locals.

“We are against encroachments on state land but the way the civic agency is conducting the operation is not acceptable,” they added.

Earlier, a subcommittee of the Senate Standing Committee on Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), headed by Senator Kalsoom Parveen, also expressed concerns over the operation.

Senator Kalsoom said when these buildings were being built the CDA officials concerned did not take action.

“These buildings were not built within a few days. Why action was not taken at the appropriate time,” she said and directed the CDA to furnish details of the officials who were supposed to stop the illegal constructions in G-12 and on the right of way of Kashmir Highway.

Over 300 staffers from the enforcement directorate took part in the operation while police and Rangers remained at a standby.

Recently, CDA had compiled date of encroachments on state land showing thousands of kanals state land was under illegal possession. It included 1,996 kanals that was under the illegal occupation of six housing societies in various zones.

Besides, Kashmir Highway, the right of way of I.J.P. Road was also encroached in pockets with the construction of commercial buildings and other illegal structures. Illegal access roads, residential and commercial buildings have also been built on state land along Murree Road.

Similarly, the right of way of Margalla Road, Lehtrar Road, G.T. Road, Sangjani area in I-14,1-15 and 1-16 have also been encroached in the shape of illegal access roads, petrol pumps, residential and commercial structures.

CDA land is also under illegal occupation of various individuals in the revenue estates (mouzas) such as Lakwal, Malpur, Ghora Baz, Jagiot Jejan and Saknaal.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018

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