ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Thursday summoned progress reports of the Bani Gala encroachment case from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Punjab government.
A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, presided over the case of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s residence in Bani Gala.
As the hearing began, the counsels of CDA and Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) submitted their reports regarding garbage dumping sites.
The CDA’s counsel said that a spot was selected for sewage and wastewater treatment plants. He added that a portion of land was also allocated for garbage dumping site.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that IMC had been sending letters to the CDA since April but they did not responded. He added, “If sites are selected then hand them over to IMC.”
He said that there were numerous violations of capital city’s master plan while there was abundance of illegal structures. The structures could be regularised if the master plan was revisited, he said.
Further, the Director General (DG) Environment told the court that they would probably reach a decision on amendments in CDA zoning regulations by tomorrow. He added that it would also be decided to move hospitals, educational institutions and slums while they were also taking community’s opinion in the matter.
He further ordered Islamabad mayor and CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed to appear before the court to elucidate the matter.
The Punjab Additional Advocate General informed the court that a treatment plant was being constructed for treatment of drainage coming from Murree.
To this, Justice Bandial responded that it was required to make aware people to stop polluting drains. He added there must be some punishment or fines imposed on the public to bar them from flushing waste in natural streams and drains.
The court adjourned the hearing till next month.
Last year in October, the ex-chief justice had said that CDA should first take action against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence while hearing a case pertaining to illegal construction in the federal capital’s suburb.
Earlier this year the government managed to retrieve possession of part of the zoo-cum botanical gardens from the illegal occupation of land grabbers near the prime minister’s Bani Gala residence and handed it over to the Zoological Survey of Pakistan.
Following orders from the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) retrieved around 2,323 kanals of land of the gardens from encroachers.
Recently, in mid-June the geological survey of Pakistan (GSP) has demarcated 725 acres of land in Bani Gala for construction of a zoological and botanical (Z&B) garden.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2019.