CDA’s lackluster operation in Markaz G-8 emboldens encroachers

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Zubair Qureshi

Capital Development Authority’s enforcement teams on Tuesday carried out a half-hearted operation against land mafia and encroachers in Markaz G-8 that instead of producing the desired results further complicated the situation. According to details, on the orders of the Islamabad High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, the CDA in collaboration with the district administration and police carried out the operation against showrooms that have illegally occupied the CDA land encroaching upon the footpaths, pavements and even the green belts. One could see a lone ITP lifter removing vehicles from one pavement to the other and a traffic police officer supervising the so-called operation. Emboldened by the half-hearted operation the showroom mafia took to roads in protest and blocked it by setting tyres on fire. Later, the representatives of the showroom owners held a meeting with the Deputy Commissioner and took a reprieve of five days i.e. until Friday. By Friday, they would ensure that all the cars from the footpaths and green belts would be removed and they shall vacate the government land. They also submitted affidavits to the district administration in this regard.
According to sources the showroom owners having links in the CDA and the Islamabad Capital Territory had been keeping the operation pending for a long while but once the IHC judge took up the matter they too had to retreat. However, the land mafia kept maneuvering and when the CDA teams with the district administration came on Tuesday, they held a protest weakening the stance of the CDA and police.
While talking to Pakistan observer, residents in the sector expressed their surprise at the civic agency’s going on back foot despite a clear order of the IHC judge. How can a judge’s order be disregarded? said Aqeel Khan a resident in G-8/3. This shows they have no regard for the courts, said Khadija Bibi another resident of the sector. They (CDA and district administration) had gone there only for the sake of formality, she said. It may be mentioned here that Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in a petition against encroachment in the city particularly mentioned Sector G-8 Markaz and had even shown his willingness to visit the area. The sector, he said had turned into a jungle of showrooms and encroachment making it a hard for a pedestrian to even walk let alone drive. Justice Siddiqui will now hear the case and ask the CDA and other authorities about the progress on this matter on July 18. One of the petitioners in the encroachment case, Mr Adil Shah said the judge’s remarks have led to the hopes of the residents in this sector that once they could be able to walk freely here and enjoy shopping in the markets.

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