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June 27, 2019

Greenbelt of college faces demolition to ‘please an influential’

Top Story

June 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital’s administration is set to demolish a green belt next to the boundary wall of OPF Girls’ College located in posh F-8/2 Sector.

Apparently it looks like a routine project but the college administration believes it has been launched to “please an influential person” living in adjacent street where one of the college gates is situated.

Former accountability bureau chief Lt Gen (R) Muneer Hafeez is that influential resident. He is in illegal occupation of adjacent multi-kanal area of CDA which he has beautified and erected a fence around it. If CDA rules are to believe, he can’t use this. If he is asked to clarify his position, he refers the matter to CDA. If CDA is asked, its officials say that is violation of rules but no action has been taken to vacate the area.

Meanwhile, an effort is in progress to demolish the greenbelt adjacent to the college boundaries for the parking and drainage for “general public”. Asked why the land in Muneer Hafeez occupation is not used for the purpose, CDA shifts the blame towards Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) presently under the mayor’s administration saying it is their initiative.

The project has caused serious security concerns among parents of students and teachers of the college. In a letter written to OPF high-ups and city administration, principal of the college Shahina Masood has pointed out the possible motives behind this exercise. “It seems that this project is launched just to oblige/please an influential person living in street 20. Furthermore, this project will not serve any benefit for the college; in fact it will endanger the safety and security of college building, its students and staff.”

If CDA wants to build parking, the letter goes on, “it can do so on its land opposite to the college adjacent to the house of the retired Gen Muneer Hafeez.” This piece of land can easily be converted into parking. This extra CDA land is situated at the intersection touching two roads on its opposite side, the letter reads. This correspondent visited that adjacent place and found it out part of house of former accountability bureau chief since there is no wall between the two. When Gen Muneer was asked, he didn’t deny the absence of wall nevertheless insisted he didn’t use it. Asked who has fenced the CDA land, he didn’t reply. To another question as whether or not he has received any notice from CDA to vacate the extra place, he suggested this correspondent to contact CDA.

According to CDA officials, there is no permission to use open area adjacent to the houses as per its order of 2016. However, they admit the order has not been enforced. Most of the occupations of CDA land by adjacent houses had been identified in sector F-8 when compared with other sectors, the official said. “Currently any usage of open space in the guise of horticulture is a standing violation,” said the official.

Although MCI officials and college sources say there was immense pressure from the influential former accountability bureau chief to demolish the greenbelt for creating parking space, as there is a lot of traffic in front of his house in the morning and afternoon, nobody is willing to speak on the record. Muneer Hafeez however denied all these allegations, saying he has never approached anybody for the purpose.

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