Land grab? PSB occupying 60 acres more than allotted

Published: August 29, 2018
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PHOTO:FILE

PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD: In contrast to past estimates and officially allotted land, a land survey has found that the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) currently possesses over 200 acres of land in the capital. A report in this regard was submitted to the top court on Tuesday.

This is more than the 145 acres of land which had been allotted to the board by the civic authority in the Shakarparian area of the city back in 1975.

According to a report prepared by the Survey of Pakistan (SOP), the premier national surveying and mapping organisation of the country, the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) currently possesses over 205.829 acres of land.

The survey report, prepared after conducting a field study, the land was divided into five portions. One portion houses the Pakistan Sports Complex which includes the Jinnah Stadium, tartan track, PSB head office, Liaquat Gymnasium and other sporting facilities including an Olympic swimming pool, and basketball courts.

Another section of the land houses the Gun and Country Club. Other sections house the Amir Khan Boxing Hall and hockey ground and surrounding area. One section includes a marquee while the other section houses the Pakistan Sports Board Colony.

The report, submitted to the Supreme Court, said that the survey and demarcation of land found that the Pakistan Sports Board possess some 205.829 of land, around 60.829 acres more than the land leased to it by the CDA.

The breakup of the land shows that the Pakistan Sports Complex is built over 136.999 acres of land. The Guns and Country Club is built over 33.273 acres, the marquee on 3.518 acres, the Amir Khan Boxing Hall and hockey ground over 29. 741 acres, while the Pakistan Sports Board Colony is built over 2.298 acres.

The SOP report further stated that a PSB representative had pointed out that since the land was wedged between two highways including the Kashmir Highway and Garden Avenue, hence the area covered for right-of-way (ROW) of these two roads must also be deducted from the total area.

After subtracting the ROW area of Kashmir Highway and Garden Avenue, the area falling within the boundary of PSB is 194.475 acres and 168.591 acres — per CDA and PSB estimates respectively.

The CDA has thus taken the stance that the PSB possesses 49.475 acres over and above the 145 acres of land which it had been allotted. The PSB, though, contends that it is occupying only 23.591 acres over and above its allotted area.

A CDA official said that according to law, any extra land should be handed over to the civic body along with all facilities built on it.

The SOP report further notes that the boundaries of the different properties on PSB land are of different composition. The Pakistan Sports Complex is surrounded by walls, fences, wire and iron grills at different points and at one spot the boundary is open.

The boundary of the Guns and Country Club is demarcated by a wire fence. The boundary of the Amir Khan Boxing Hall, Hockey Ground and surrounding areas comprises a concrete wall, wire fence and open area. The marquee is fenced off using iron wire while the Pakistan Sports Board Colony — located outside the PSB stores —is surrounded by temporary partitions.

On July 9, the apex court had declared the Gun and Country Club as illegal had ordered the club to hand over possession of the venue to the PSB, which originally owns the land. It had simultaneously directed the SOP to survey the land and demarcate the entire 145 acres which had been allotted to the board.

Following directions from the SC, the CDA approached the SOP on July 18 to conduct a detailed survey of land occupied by the PSB and demarcate the land, particularly the area on which the shooting range and club building lie and the area occupied by a marquee.

Originally, the gun club was supposed to have been a joint venture between the PSB and club’s administration. Later, it became a separate entity through a notification when Asif Ali Zardari was the President.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2018.

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