Beans of contention: PDA ordered to submit master plan of University Town

Petitioner argues coffee shop in residential area constructed illegally.

Our Correspondent December 01, 2014


The Peshawar High Court on Monday directed the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) and town administration to submit their master plan under which they constructed University Town and converted some buildings of the residential area for commercial use.

The order was issued by the division bench of Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Lal Jan Khattak during the hearing of a petition filed by Dr Fazl Muqeem Khelji and others against the construction of Deewan-e-Khas and a coffee shop in the ladies club.

The court was informed that University Town was a residential area where a club was constructed for women. It included tennis and squash courts, a walking track and green belt.

A part of the club was then leased and a coffee shop and restaurant were constructed, which the petitioner argued was illegal.

The court was further informed by the petitioner’s counsel Tariq Afridi that the PHC had already imposed a ban on the commercial activities, yet they continued. He added such activities should be banned in the upmarket township.

The bench ordered the PDA and town administration to submit their master plan and rules of construction at the next date of hearing on December 4.

Some of the petitioners were aggrieved over the leasing out of 14 kanals of land of the ladies club to two people for 33 years. They were concerned that the coffee shop and restaurant were constructed illegally.

The high court had passed judgments in 2009 and 2011 which clearly prohibited the allotment of plots for commercial buildings in University Town.

Remand extended

In a separate case, an accountability court extended the physical custody of two suspects arrested by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a Hajj scam.

NAB arrested Muhammad Usman and Fahad Usman, owners of Karwan-e-Hujaj Private Limited Hajj Tour Operator. They were allegedly involved in scamming more than 100 pilgrims of millions of rupees.

A statement issued by NAB on the day of the arrests on November 18 said the accused collected approximately Rs430,000 per pilgrim and offered them a private Hajj package. However, when the clients reached the office of the tour operator at Deans Trade Centre to collect their passports, the accused had disappeared.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2014.

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