The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is in the news again and this time Gun and Country Club and the nearby shooting range is the reason. The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed the civic agency’s chairperson to tell it about the status of the club.
It also issued notices to Secretary Pakistan Sport Board (PSB) and Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq to submit their comments, after setting August 16 as the next date for hearing.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had earlier taken action on a media report regarding the allotment of 72 acres, worth billions of rupees, to the Gun Club at a “mere” Rs10 million per acre. The report had termed the rate extremely nominal in comparison to the value of the land.
The court sought a report from the CDA Chairperson on August 8 which was submitted in compliance with the court’s orders.
The report said in 1977, 145 acres were allotted to the PSB in Zone “A” of Islamabad, which is reserved in the “master plan” of the city for sports and recreation purposes. Out of them, 44 acres were specifically reserved for shooting ranges/facilities at the Pakistan Sports Complex, the report stated.
In 2000, the 9th South Asian (SAF) Games were proposed to be held in Islamabad; a Steering Committee was formed that tasked CDA with organising the event.
Since there were no appropriate arrangements in place to host the shooting events, the committee decided to construct a state-of-the-art shooting facility in the capital, which would not only host the shooting events of the upcoming SAF Games, but also be utilised for hosting national and international competitions in future, the report added. The SAF Games Secretariat thus requested the PSB to make space for the Gun and Country Club.
On January 25 this year, the management of the Gun Club proposed certain amendments in the Gun Club Resolution, 2002.
On April 5, the club requested the Sports Ministry to forward its request to the CDA for execution of the lease of 72 acres of land (instead of the 44 acres reserved for shooting ranges and facilities). The request was forwarded by the Sports Ministry to the CDA, who approved it.
The media report termed the rate of the deal, Rs10 million per acre, “nominal”. The report alleged that CDA had already received full payment of 44 acres in 1977 from PSB, where the Gun and Country Club is situated at present, the news story said.
However, the response submitted by the CDA termed the media report “misleading and incorrect”. Presently considering various aspects, the Finance Wing of CDA is working out the “lease amount” to be charged from the club, the response said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.