Yet another case of violation of the capital city’s master plan has landed the city managers into court. Some residents of a sub-sector of the posh Sector F-11 have taken the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to court to foil its plan of encroaching upon a greenbelt of their sector.
Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday restrained the CDA from allotting plots to its employees in sector F-11/2. The action was taken on a petition filed by the residents of F-11 in the court challenging the haphazard allotments of plots.
Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan of IHC granted stay on the petition filed by Naseem Zafar, Abdul Hafiz and others through their lawyer Muhammad Aslam Khaki.
The court also issued notices to CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, Enforcement and Planning Director of the authority, Muhammad Ramzan Joya, Chief Executive Officer Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) and Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) Director-General Asif Shuja to submit their replies on the petition.
The counsel for the petitioners contended that CDA has allotted plots to its employees in the greenbelts of sector F-11/2 in violation of the by-laws of the civic agency. Khaki said that this was a clear violation of the CDA Land Disposal Regulation, 2005. “The area has been clearly earmarked for the purpose of greenbelt in the master plan, but the civic agency is making allotments over there for residential purposes,” he said.
He recalled another decision of the IHC of May 3, 2011 staying the allotments in sectors I-8, E-12, D-12, G-13 and G-14. “The illegal practice has now started in F-11,” Khaki maintained. “Turning green areas into commercial centres is going to cast a negative impact on the environment of the city. Construction work should not be allowed everywhere,” he contended.
According the counsel, the beauty of the city was already fading due to excessive construction. “The civic agency has now started construction at whatever limited green areas left within the sectors, this must be immediately stopped,” he pleaded.
He urged the court to declare construction in F-11 green area illegal.
Interestingly, adherence to the master plan has always been a focal point of new plans discussed by the chairman CDA. Similarly, even the Supreme Court has taken several suo motu actions over haphazard allotments and violations of the master plan. There have been several writ petitions filed by the civilians, due to which many argue the capital has been able to maintain its original form.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2011.