Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation’s DMA goes soft on bus stands

Teams fail to evict illegal terminals at Faizabad as courtroom beckons


Shahzad Anwar October 04, 2017
Teams fail to evict illegal terminals at Faizabad as courtroom beckons. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Despite directions from the court, the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation’s Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) has failed to launch a crackdown against illegal bus stands operating near Faizabad.

Last week, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had ordered the Directorate of Municipal Authority (DMA) to clear the greenbelts from the illegal occupation and use by bus stands immediately and to file a compliance report to the court by October 4, 2017 (today).

The court is also expected to resume hearing a petition filed by the Transport Owners and Passengers’ Welfare Association against the illegal bus stands and other encroachment operating on green belts at Faizabad with permission from the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

IMC officials, talking to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity, stated that the bus stands had been set up on the green belt by a close relative of a provincial minister illegally using their political influence and by pressurising DMA officials.

He added that even though the DMA had cancelled the licence of the illegal bus stands, officials were hesitant in taking stern action against the stands owing to strong backing of political personality.

Regardless, late on Monday evening DMA Assistant Director Karamatullah along with a heavy contingent of police, the Islamabad Capital Territory area magistrate and enforcement officials from the Capital Development Authority headed to Faizabad – presumably to launch an operation to evict the bus operators.

But all DMA officials did was hover around the area, and eventually, leave without removing the stands.

“The DMA enforcement officials used delaying techniques, succumbing to a possible reaction from the political personality, which is evident since instead of launching a crackdown against illegal bus stands it, only demolished barred enclosures around other bus stands,” an eyewitness told The Express Tribune.

The IMC sources termed the DMA operation as ‘fake’ and an ‘eyewash’ to take some pictures which they could show the court in a bid to avoid judicial reprimand.

Justice Siddiqui had directed that action must be taken against big and influential encroachers without any discrimination or caring about political pressure instead of small stallholders and pushcarts to restore the master plan of the capital.

Moreover, it had directed the Islamabad deputy commissioner to depute an assistant commissioner (AC) to work with CDA’s enforcement team during anti-encroachment operations, apart from providing them with a police escort.

Moreover, he had directed CDA to submit a list of stay orders and pending cases against CDA issued by different courts over encroachment removal.

Earlier the court had expressed its annoyance over the reply submitted by CDA Municipal Administration Director (DMA) Ali Sufiyan regarding bus stands to operate on green belts and had issued showcase and contempt of court notice to him for misleading court.  In this case, the court had also summoned Islamabad Mayor and CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz, CDA Member Administration, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), and the Islamabad Deputy Commissioner.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2017.

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