New CDA chairman ‘trapped’ by staff into inaugurating a trail

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All trails in Margalla Hills fall under Islamabad Wildlife Board’s jurisdiction: IHC

Zubair Qureshi

Hardly a day in office, the new Chairman of the Capital Development Authority Captain (R) Muhammad Usman was caught unawares Tuesday when staff of the Environment Wing perhaps in an effort to win his blessings took him to the Margalla Hills and got a trail inaugurated—something that did not even fall under the CDA jurisdiction.

Inauguration, maintenance of trails in the Margalla Hills and their regular monitoring are the sole responsibility of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board .

The Islamabad High Court has also in an order directed the CDA not to interfere in the Board’s jurisdiction.

The poor chief commissioner/chairman CDA who has joined at both the positions quite recently, was woken up at 5:00 in the morning by the ‘efficient’ officers of the CDA’s Environment Wing and taken to Kainthia, opposite the D-12.

There, the CDA Chairman inaugurated Trail 7 which is a 5-km long track running from C-12 to Kainthia, Alexander Well.

An official of the CDA who was present at the site wishing not to be named told Pakistan Observer that the new CDA Chairman was not aware that he was going to do something that could throw him into a battle with the Ministry of the Climate Change and he might face contempt of the court as well.

A member of the IWMB when contacted admitted this was something that surprised the Board and its members including the chairperson.

“We have written to the CDA Chairman a letter requesting him to keep his staff away from the Margalla Hills and our senior representatives are also visiting him Wednesday (today) to explain things,” he further said.

Meanwhile, the Environment Wing of the CDA in a press release informed the media that it had opened a new hiking trail in Islamabad’s Margalla Hills for hikers and tourists. “The civic authority inaugurated Trail 7 with CDA Chairman, Captain Usman, and DC Islamabad, Irfan Nawaz Memon, present on the occasion,” the press note said.

The CDA has also reopened ‘Trail 1’ and ‘Trail 2’ in the Margalla Hills to hikers and visitors earlier this month after completing necessary restoration work such as the installation of maps, milestones, and benches along the route, the Press Release goes on to say.

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