Mob attacks CDA team during anti-encroachment drive

Civic body’s staff pelted with stones as mob tries to disrupt operation


Iftikhar Chaudhry March 31, 2019
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) Enforcement officials faced stiff resistance as the operation to recover encroached land in Sector E-12 continued for the third day.

As many as 214 illegal structures were demolished during the operation including rooms and boundary walls on Saturday.

In an attempt to disrupt the operation, a mob broke the windshield of a bulldozer of CDA enforcement wing.

Furthermore, they also thrashed the operational staff and threw stones at them, leaving some of the civic body’s staff with several injuries. Similarly, some of them tried to insert sand and water inside machine’s engine. Moreover, members of the mob also resorted to aerial firing. However, no one was injured in the firing incident.

However, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration tackled the situation by calling the additional Reserve Police, who arrested 10 of the mob members for interruption in official business. Once the situation settled, the administration launched its operation in full swing.

The administration has demolished up to 857 illegal structures collectively during the three-day operation.

After the situation normalised, the operation resumed with full swing and pace. During the operation carried out on Saturday hundreds of illegal constructions on the acquired land were demolished. Particularly, Mozza “Siri Saral” of Sector E-12 has been almost entirely cleared of illegal occupants.

It is pertinent to mention here that there are thousands of allottees who have been waiting for possession of the land for the last four decades.

They have been running from pillar to post and now the matter has been taken up in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) where progress is being monitored.

CDA is taking possession of land from those occupants who had already received compensation and were continuing to hold possession despite lapse of so many decades.

CDA is determined to clear all lands from the possession of those who have already been duly compensated.

At the same time development activities will commence soon. Meanwhile, formalities are being completed so that tendering can begin as soon as possible.

Furthermore, around 250 officers and officials participated in the anti-encroachment drive on Saturday. This comprised members of Enforcement Directorate, ICT Administration, heavy contingent of Islamabad Police, Sector Development Directorate, Land and Rehabilitation Directorate of the authority and other concerned formations while rangers were also deputed to counter any untoward situation. During this operation, heavy machinery of Machinery Pool Organisation (MPO) Directorate was also used to remove constructions from acquired land.

It is pertinent to mention here that CDA began telling residents to vacate the illegally occupied land nearly a month ago and began demolition of unauthorised structures more recently.

With additional input by DNA

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2019.

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