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Monday June 17, 2024

CDA has turned capital into a slum: SC

By Sohail Khan
April 05, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday took exception to non-compliance of its orders by the Capital Development Authority in a case pertaining to illegal constructions and encroachments in Banigala and observed that the civic body was only interested in selling plots, leaving the federal capital to turn into a slum.

A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Umer Ata Bandyal, heard the case. The court observed that owing to the non-serious attitude of the civic body, the federal capital had lost its beauty, as its mountains and forests had lost trees, while streams and rivers had trash and waste, producing a foul smell.

Chairman CDA Amir Ahmed Ali appeared before the court and admitted that its orders had not been fully complied with. He, however, expressed his determination to fully implement the orders if given some time.

Justice Gulzar asked Amir if had made a proper planning to improve and beautify the capital city. Amir committed to give results and sought a month’s time. Justice Umer Ata Bandyal observed that they had witnessed the best facilities in many capitals of the world. He said at least there should be a proper system to dispose of waste in residential as well as commercial areas of the federal capital.

Amir told the bench that unfortunately there was no permanent landfill in the federal capital for safe disposal of waste. He informed the bench that a dumping site had been selected on permanent basis in Sangjani area and the department of environmental pollution will soon visit the area.

“Do you want to turn the whole federal capital into a slum,” asked Justice Gulzar Ahmed. When Amir tried to clarify his position, Justice Gulzar interrupted and asked him to stop launching into excuses. “If you do not discharge your duties and implement the court orders in letter and spirit, then please go somewhere else,” Justice Gulzar told the CDA chairman. He further asked Amir if it was in his knowledge that what was happening at the new airport.

Justice Gulzar observed that it was their impression that such state of affairs only existed in Karachi but it was wrong, as the condition of the federal capital had also worsened. "If you cannot discharge your duties, then why you are sitting over here instead of going somewhere else,” Justice Gulzar told the CDA chairman.

The judge noted with great concern that construction work on the Kashmir Highway was yet to be completed. He said the authorities concerned had left incomplete structures where drug addicts could take refuge.

“This is your performance. Your main objective is to make and sell plots and destroy the beauty of the capital city by establishing slums,” Justice Gulzar observed. “God willing, we are determined to make improvement and will work for betterment of the city,” Amir assured the judge. The court adjourned the hearing for a month.