MARDAN: The Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) has issued notices to the owners of plots of land at the Ameer Mohammad Khan Media Colony and people living in the surrounding areas of the newly constructed prison and asked them to stop construction work, sources told The News.
The previous Awami National Party (ANP)-led provincial government had set up the media colony in response to a demand by local journalists. The then chief minister, Ameer Haider Hoti, later allocated land for the colony for the members of Mardan Press Club at Mohabatabad near the maximum-security Central Prison.
The previous government also undertook development work in the media colony and built roads, children’s park, mosque and community centre. Some owners of plots of land started construction work at the media colony. A few journalists even completed the construction work and moved to the colony.
However, sources added that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home and Tribal Affairs Department in a letter directed Deputy Commissioner Mardan, Imran Hamid Sheikh to stop the construction work at the colony.
The sources said it was stated in the letter that the Apex Committee Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the meeting held on September 3 had disallowed construction of buildings in the radius of 500 meters of the high security prison.
They said following the letter the TMA official issued notices to the owners of land in the media colony and the people living in the surrounding areas to stop construction work.The sources added that the Revenue Department had conducted a survey of the area and directed the people of the surrounding areas to vacate their houses.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents of Mohabatabad village and people living in the surrounding areas of the jail staged a protest rallyoutside Mardan Press Club on Thursday against the decision of the provincial government.
Addressing the protesters, Union Council Mohabatabad Nazim Muzzamil Khan, Maulana Abdul Ghaffar, Maulana Altaf, Maulana Abdul Rehman and others criticised the provincial government decision and said the local administration wanted to evict them
in the name of jail security.They added that hundreds of families were living in Mohabatabad and majority of them were poor families. They criticised the provincial government for constructing the jail in a congested area and then declaring it a high security prison. The protesters demanded the government to reverse the decision and construct the jail at some other place.