Park perversion: PCB restarts building stadium

CDA debates action to stop work at site.

Danish Hussain December 01, 2013
A vast forested area in Shakarparian was previously cleared to make way for Pakistan Monument Museum. PHOTO: FILE


Now that two months have gone by without a response from the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB), city managers are debating whether to stop the construction of the Islamabad Cricket Stadium at Shakarparian, over the board’s failure to submit an environmental assessment of the project.

The land falls within the National Park Area at Shakarparian. Though construction activities are prohibited in the area, the CDA made an exception for the stadium. The land was allotted for free to the PCB. “The Capital Development Authority (CDA) wrote to the PCB asking it to obtain an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the project before carrying out further construction around two months ago,” said an official of the CDA’s Environment Wing. He added that the letter also directed PCB to immediately stop construction work as the required formalities had not been completed. “Two months have lapsed but the PCB is yet to submit an EIA report of the project,” the official said.

Following the letter, he said PCB stopped construction, which is at a primary stage, but has recently resumed it. “The decision to forcibly stop work at the site will be taken next week after taking all concerned departments on board and with the consent of the CDA chairman,” the official said. PCB Media Director Nadeem Sarwar, while talking to The Express Tribune, said the PCB was complying with CDA’s directions. “Work on the site was resumed after the PCB hired a firm to conduct the EIA,” Sarwar said.

He said the report would be submitted to CDA once it’s complete. When asked if an assessment was carried out before beginning construction work, Sarwar said so far only the boundary wall and a small site office had been constructed. The boundary wall had been completed at the earliest to secure the area from encroachments, he added. “The PCB assured CDA that major construction activity would be initiated after the completion of all the formalities, including the EIA report.”

When contacted, the CDA spokesperson said he was unaware of the current development but confirmed that the PCB had been asked to submit an EIA report of the project.

In 2008, CDA allotted 40 acres to PCB on a 33-year lease for the construction of a stadium. The project was to be completed in five years but the PCB could not execute it within the time frame which led to the cancellation of the plot.

However, in June 2012, after former president Asif Ali Zardari’s intervention, CDA handed over possession of 35 acres of the land to PCB for the construction of an international standard cricket stadium in the capital. Under the agreement signed between CDA and PCB, the civic agency would receive 30 per cent of the income generated from sports activities and lease of commercial area within the stadium. PCB’s governing board decided to name the stadium after slain premier Benazir Bhutto and it will accommodate 50,000 spectators, according to the building plan.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2013.


touseef | 9 years ago | Reply

Clean the jungle clean it what else we can expect from nonsense CDA

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