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Supreme Court stays construction work at Margalla Hills

National

May 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday stayed construction work being carried out at Margalla Hills and directed demolishing of extended portion of Monal Restaurant.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed heard suo motu case against illegal construction as well as business activities at Margalla Hills. The court held that Margalla Hills spread over federal capital Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) while the whole area has been declared as National Park and no part of the land could be allotted to private person for any commercial activity.

The court directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to ensure plantation of trees which were removed by the management of Monal Restaurant for extending its premises besides ensuring preservation of the hills.

The court further held that carrying out construction work for personal usage as rest house is illegal. During the hearing CDA chairman informed the court that the extension made by the management of Monal Restaurant is illegal. He informed the court that he has sealed the restaurant for making illegal extension as well as removing trees.

To a court query, CDA chairman informed the court that the then CDA chairman Kamran Lashari allowed construction at the Margalla Hills. Chief justice asked as to whether the ICT has stopped stone crushing at the hills to which Chief Commissioner Islamabad replied in affirmative. Meanwhile, the court summoned on the next date of hearing, all owners who had made construction at the Hills besides staying the expansion of Monal Restaurant and adjourned further hearing.