RAWALPINDI: An anti-corruption unit of the garrison city has launched an inquiry against three housing societies and district administration officials for harming the environment by wiping away the green cover and destroying scenic mountains near the tourist site of Kallar Kehar through illegal construction.
Punjab Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Director Gohar Nafees had taken notice of the issue and had constituted a joint investigation team (JIT) under Rawalpindi ACU Director Arif Raheem, and comprising Chakwal Deputy Director Abdul Rehman and office bearer Hafiz Qadeer.
The team seized records of the societies and summoned the Chief Officer and the District Planning Officer for the Chakwal District Council.
The Chakwal Environment Assistant Director was also summoned along with the society owners for determining their role in the matter.
Investigations showed that three housing societies covering an area of 2,045, 322 and 4,943 Kanalas respectively had initiated construction without obtaining the due no-object certificates (NOCs) or by obtaining the document unfairly through alleged collusion of the district council and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials.
Two of the housing societies did not have their maps approved from the district council.
Subsequently, a green area was removed and the mountains cut to make way for the housing schemes.
When contacted, Nafees said that seized records showed that work on building the housing societies started in 2017, adding that they had also uncovered evidence of political interference as well. He added that officers involved will face action after the inquiry is complete.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2019.