The Pakistan Army has begun construction on a new complex for its General Headquarters (GHQ) in Islamabad, despite the army chief’s earlier comment that the army will delay construction due to the financial crunch.
Responding to questions on Monday, senior Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Environment that the construction had partially begun on the site that the army had acquired from the CDA.
Officials said that the CDA has allocated 726 acres of land in sectors E-10 and D-11 and 50 acres in these sectors’ catchment area. They said that the CDA has so far received Rs504 million from GHQ out of a total of Rs703.69 million, and the last payment came through a year ago.
Meanwhile, committee members expressed concern over environmental degradation in the area which had been allocated for the National Park and directed that illegal and unplanned construction be stopped immediately.
Committee chairperson MNA Raja Asad suggested that there should be legislation to check illegal and unplanned construction in Islamabad to protect the city’s beauty.
CDA Director-General Urban Planning Sarwar Sindhu agreed that there is a need to develop a regulatory mechanism. He said that illegal and informal construction was rampant in areas that fell under the administration of Islamabad Capital Territory.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2011.