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September 11, 2018

Encroachers badly causing deforestation of Margalla Hills


September 11, 2018

Islamabad: Den of evils emerging close to the President and Prime Minister Houses, diplomatic enclaves and Quaid-e-Azam University is an alarming situation to open the eyes of state security institutions responsible to provide conducive, healthy and crimes free environment to the citizens of Pakistan according to constitution and commitment of government. Hundreds of youths have been addicted of heroin, chars, liquor in Noorpur Shahan Bari Imam and in suburbs like slums Muslim Colony.

Reasons for addiction to the drugs may be of social natures but their easy availability and access has helped their addiction among the youths manifold. Addicted youths are moving like herds around the streams/drainage courses in the area. Many youths had lost their lives. Parents have helpless that how many time they could bear treatment expenditure unless the conducive environment is not ensured by the government.

Noorpur Shahan was acquired by CDA in 1960s, but later it was declared Model Village in 1977, under which the affectees of this area, whose land and properties were acquired had to be rehabilitated by allotment of residential plots there according to the CDA Awards announced in 1961, 1964 and 1968, which had ensured their rehabilitation properly under the law. Delay in implementation of the model village scheme and absence of adopting mechanism by CDA to maintain its possession on acquired land facilitated the encroachers to occupy precious land of billions of rupees.

Later, the neglecting role of political governments and corruption of CDA Enforcement Directorate helped to expand encroachment area. Thousands of houses were constructed during last ten years and particularly in interim government. If these slums are not removed now so their expansion cannot be arrested. Their boundaries would soon touch to Bhara Kahu and upward to the Margalla Hills national Park area that will surely cause deforestation.

Emerging of such type of localities surely a soft place for criminals and terrorists as nobody knows them about their back grounds until and unless they are exposed due to their crimes. Unending process of encroachment in this area would later turn it into a locality like Afghan Basti I/11, Islamabad or Sohrab Goth Karachi. Should we wait for a situation that will emerge like a threat to the sensitive offices of President, Prime Minister Houses, diplomatic enclaves and most prestigious institution Quaid-e-Azam University? Would the concerned responsible like to open their eyes now or wait till the mission become impossible? Why are the local Administration, CDA and security institutions neglecting it despite they would surely be well aware of this situation said to this ascribe by the locals?

Drugs like heroin, chars, wine and arms are easily available in the vicinity of Bari Imam despite the fact that Police Station Secretariat is only two kilometre away and there is a police Choki at Bari Imam also. Indigenous people complained that such matter were brought in to the notice of concerned authorities but in vain. Resultantly their locality has been earning bad repute due to the involvement of non-local criminals, who have been backing other social evils like prostitution also.

Rapid Encroachment at Noorpur Shahan Bari Imam close to the prime minister and president houses has grabbed not only CDA’s precious land of billions of rupees, but also paved the way for anti-state actors to get shelter over there. Surprisingly there is no end of this process. Every day land is being captured by encroachers. Possession is being sold by ‘Qabza Mafia’ and people are making money.

Muslim Colony situated between the Noorpur Shahan Bari Imam and Aiwan-e-Sadar & PM colonies is another big encroachment exists there despite the fact that residents of this colony had been allotted alternate plots by CDA in 2001 in the form of developing Frash Town Islamabad to them under a pilot project for shelterless people initiated by an Ex-Minister of Musharraf Cabinet Omar Asghar Khan late. Most of the plot holders either rented out their houses or sold onwards, are still living in Muslim Colony and they further facilitated others to build new houses to put pressure on government for retaining possession. Now the boundaries of this colony due to its expansion are almost touching to the limits of Model village Noorpur Shahan, close to the wall of diplomatic enclave and towards Quaid-e-Azam University.

Another alarming situation is that the ‘Qabza Mafia’, which sell the CDA land without any fear as they had never faced any legal proceedings neither CDA had ever tried to fix them to safe its land. Moreover the encroachers have further expanded their houses for renting out. Lot of owners are living in Islamabad or away but they had constructed houses for renting out and for taking plot from CDA. Government servants including ICT police employees have made encroachments for living and renting out. Such situation has attracted the people from all over the country particularly from KPK for making encroachments. Unrestricted migration from KPK during last few years particularly to this locality has been affecting its demographic as well as cultural norms and some time it is felt that it is the part of KPK not Potohar.

One of the environmental issue having priority for this government is to increase tree plantation process in the country, but the encroachers of this locality have been badly causing deforestation of Margalla Hills as they cut the trees even in day light without any fear. They have got the water connection illegally from the main Simbly Dam water supply lines and enjoying water in bulk 24 hrs. Wastage of drinking water due to use of rubber pipes is unbelievable. They also managed to get electricity connections from IESCO despite the restrictions by the federal government.

The government should adopt permanent solution to this issue by removing all encroachments and developing of long awaited Model village scheme of Noorpur Shahan to rehabilitate the original affectees of this area, whose lands were acquired by CDA, but they were not accommodated as per Awards of 1964 and 1968 told the locals to this ascribe.

They referred that CDA had also approved the policy of Model village Scheme in its special meeting held on March 15, 1977 but implemented partly according to political pressures. According to policy “it was decided that the villages falling within the Sectoral area as show in appendix “X” be accommodated in sector I/10 and sector I/14. All the villages falling with in National Park and Green Area including village Malpur with its satellites would be accommodated in the model villages.” Noorpur Shahan had also been notified as Model village in 1995 and survey of affectees was conducted by the local administration, but due change of Government the development process could not take off.

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