Islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Sunday resumed the anti-encroachment drive from where it had left on Saturday evening to retrieve state land from the encroachers along the Kashmir Highway as the government hinted that the drive would continue against illegal constructions in the city.
Several establishments erected on the Right of Way of Kashmir Highway including a big number of marquees, were razed with heavy machinery on Saturday. The operation continued for the second consecutive day on Sunday which was supervised by Member (Estate) CDA, Khushal Khan.
The officials of the Enforcement directorate demolished a marquee along the Kashmir Highway with the help of heavy machinery as DC Islamabad and SSP Islamabad remained present on the occasion.
Minister of State for Interior, Shaheryar Khan Afridi also visited the site, he reviewed the operation and vowed to extend the drive until the illegality is cleared.
DC Islamabad and Member (Estate) briefed the state minister about the continuing operation. More than 350 personnel of law enforcement agencies have been assisting the CDA officials in continuing the operation. On Saturday, they had arrested around 20 persons on offering resistance to the officials.
On Sunday, the officials demolished marquees, wedding halls, petrol pumps and other illegally constructed buildings along the Kashmir Highway and in sector G-12. These buildings were constructed in violation of the building by-laws. The officials have so far demolished “Golden Horse”, “Venue One”, “Anabia”, “Galaxy” and two under construction marquees. Similarly, a showroom in the name of “Japan Motors”, “Crown Boys Hostel”, “One-Dollar” shop, “Swat Shinwari”, “Mehfil restaurant”, “Moon restaurant” and a McDonalds outlet were also demolished in the operation. It is pertinent to mention here that these buildings were constructed on the Right of Way of Kashmir Highway and the CDA had repeatedly asked the owners of these buildings to remove them voluntarily but they did not pay any heed to the warnings.
The officials of the Enforcement directorate, the high ups of Building Control Section, Emergency and Disaster Management unit and Rescue-1122 of the CDA/MCI remained present during the operation. The marquees had occupied a long strip of land along the Kashmir Highway to give access to the highway though their establishments that were also illegal in the zone. According to the Islamabad zoning regulations, marquees cannot be established in the area. it is pertinent to mention here that the Capital Development Authority, after Supreme Court took cognizance of the illegality a few months back, had decided to regularize and regulate marquees in the city but according to the CDA officials, no set up as marquees can be established in this zone of Islamabad.
Talking to media, Minister of State, Shaheryar Afridi said that the operation would continue against illegal constructions in the city. He made it clear that the constructions made without an NOC and without permission of the CDA would be demolished. He said no one is above the law and also appreciated the efforts of the officials of CDA and local police. He assured the authorities that the government would not interfere in the operation launched by the CDA. He said that the government would monitor the operation. However, he asked the authorities not to cause damage to anyone out of personal grudge.