Islamabad : The Building Control Directorate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished a part of a plaza in Markaz F-6 (Supper Market) in which the office of the Honorary Counsel General of Ghana offices were located.
A few wooden stairs were damaged and window panes of two commercial outlets in Markaz were smashed, which the owner of the commercial plaza claimed were within the boundary limits of the plaza and could not be determined as encroachments.
Dr Shahid Rashid Butt, the Honorary Counsel General of Ghana to Pakistan, said that the matter was in the court, which has given a stay against the notice served by the CDA regarding irregularities and violations of rules committed in construction/use of the plaza.
The latest notice issued by the CDA to Mr Butt, dated 2nd May, 2019, the Authority pointed out eight irregularities in the building which include: 1) Illegal stairs and ramp from CDA land. 2) Encroachment on CDA land. (Erected generator in southern side). 3) Lift area in basement merged in shop (non-conforming use). 4) Basement is being used as shop instead of hall. (Commercialization of basement charges required). 5) Main stair removed and new stairs constructed on CDA land (Direct entry), 6) Verandah has closed towards eastern and northern sides. 7) Illegal entry of shop from northern side, and 8) Encroachment on CDA land by ‘Coffee Bean’ (restaurant).
However, the Honorary Counsel General of Ghana to Pakistan, Dr Shahid Rashid Butt, said that there was a stay order granted by the court of law back in 2017, which was still intact because it was valid till the date of the next hearing.
He claimed that as there was no further hearing in the case, so the ‘stay order’ granted by the court was still valid and in place and the demolition operation by the CDA was in violation of the court orders and he had already filed a contempt of court case against the CDA over the action.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, Hamza Shafqaat, has tweeted that the stay order in the matter was vacated following which the anti-encroachment operation by the CDA’s Building Control Directorate was launched.
The lawyer for Mr Butt claimed that the ‘contempt of court’ case against the operation was submitted and already accepted by the court. “Had there been no ‘stay order of the court’ in this matter, the ‘contempt of court’ application would not have been accepted,” Mr Butt argued.
Mr Butt also said that as the office of the Honorary Counsel General of Ghana was also located in this building and there was a large board indicating the location of this office installed on the face of the building, the CDA has also violated the sanctity of the office of the Honorary Counsel General of Ghana to Pakistan. He also said that he will agitate the matter with the Foreign Office as well.
When contacted the spokesman for the CDA said that there was no ‘stay order’ or any restraining orders with the owner of the plaza. Had there been any, they should have shown to the leader of the CDA team that carried out the anti-encroachment operation.
He also said that a final notice, pointing out all the eight irregularities/violations was served to the owner of the plaza on 2nd May, 2019 to which they never responded following which the CDA carried out the anti-encroachment operation.