With civil society members preparing to protest against the establishment of a new food park, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) denied that any such project is in consideration.
The food park was being established in the Kaleenjar Valley behind the Naval Complex, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) quoted a CDA official as saying. But on Thursday, CDA Spokesperson Ramzan Sajid denied that the authority was planning to build a food park.
Outrage at the plan
Earlier, members of the Capital Citizens Committee termed the plan a “blow” to the already-vulnerable National Park, in which the proposed park was to be made.
These activists said they had decided to file a writ petition in the recently-announced Green Bench of the Supreme Court against this plan.
“We are alarmed over CDA’s plan to open yet another food street in the lap of the Margalla Hills,” said Fauzia Minallah, a filmmaker and an activist. “We will go to the Supreme Court to stop this plan, which is a violation of the environmental regulations,” she added.
The Margalla Hills National Park is a natural heritage of Islamabad, she said, adding that the rate at which the CDA has allowed construction in the protected park, there will be no natural heritage left for future generations to enjoy.
The plan, she said, violates the Islamabad Wildlife Ordinance, Declaration of Margalla Hills National Park in 1980 and Framing of Islamabad Wildlife Rules 1983.
Monal and La Montana, two restaurants operating within the national park’s limits, already violate the rules, Minallah said. “These [restaurants] are not for the majority segment of the society. In Monal, a burger costs Rs600 and a milkshake nearly Rs300, which is beyond the reach of a common person,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2012.