In order to protect and regulate the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) and zoning regulations in letter and spirit, a joint detailed survey was recently conducted in the park and Zone-III of the capital.
The survey revealed that people have encroached on land belonging to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and erected illegal structures while some unauthorised approach roads have also been identified, which is against the MHNP Area Act, 1979.
After taking notice of the illegal structures and approach roads in the light of the survey report, CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal directed the concerned formations of the authority for carrying out a joint operation to remove them.
During the operation, officials of the civic agency removed illegally constructed sheds and closed approach roads in Zone-III on CDA-acquired land. The authority’s environment wing, planning wing and enforcement directorate participated in the operation against the encroachments.
Taking notice of the encroachments, CDA has constituted a joint team of the Environment Protection Unit (deputed for the protection of Margalla Hills National Park Area) of the environment wing, planning wing and enforcement directorate for removing the illegal structures in the areas.
CDA is also taking legal action against the encroachers to discourage encroachments and complaints are being lodged against the violators at the concerned police stations. The civic agency has warned encroachers and violators to demolish their illegal structures otherwise the authority, in collaboration with Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and Islamabad Police, would carry out operations after the Eidul Fitr holidays.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2014.