ISLAMABAD-The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday summoned high officials of Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Punjab Forest department about demarcation of Bani Gala Botanical Gardens and National Park.

A two-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial conducted hearing of the case regarding unplanned and unregistered construction in Bani Gala Botanical Garden and National Park and grant of commercial lease by CDA. 

During the hearing, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Punjab informed that some documents could not be obtained therefore the delimitation of forest lands was not possible. On the last hearing, the bench had directed the Punjab government to present relevant documents in a case regarding the illegal construction in Bani Gala Botanical Gardens and National Park. 

Justice Umar Bandial expressed concern over delay in execution of its previous orders. He said that the apex court in 2017 had ordered for the delimitation of forest land, which has not been implemented so far. 

The AAG Punjab said that the record would be obtained within five days. A lawyer told that botanical gardens land is 583 acres and its notification had also been issued. He added that despite that forest and National Park land is being encroached. 

Later, the bench adjourned the hearing for one week for further proceedings. 

In 2017, the apex court had banned illegal cutting of trees and encroachment of land in Bani Gala Botanical Gardens and National Park. The mushroom growth of housing was a threat to the protected area demarcated by the Geographical Survey of Pakistan (GSP) on 725 acres. 

In 2019, the government decided to construct around 2,700 cemented pillars, with distance of 15 feet, and two-foot high walls between the pillars, on which the grills would be fixed along a 14-kilometre long boundary. GSP had placed grills on around two kilometres stretch, however, a nearby housing society created obstacles in its construction.