ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought record from the Capital Development Authority on illegal constructions carried out in Bani Gala in the last 20 years.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, heard the suo motu case, which he took on the letter of Pakistan Tahrik-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.

The PTI chief in his letter highlighted continuous large-scale encroachments on the botanical garden and park in Bani Gala, which is going unchecked by the CDA and the park is not only shrinking in size but also subjected to massive cutting of trees, threatening wellbeing of the future generations, especially as Pakistan is one of the worst victims of global warming.

The court inquired what the CDA administration and police have been doing when the people in Bani Gala were illegally constructing houses. The court directed the PTI counsel to file reply on the CDA report.

The CDA report says that 122 illegal/unauthorised buildings, including Imran Khan’s house, exist in Bani Gala, which are either under construction or completed the structure work. As per ICT Zone Regulations, this construction is unauthorised and required to be demolished, the report further says.

“As regards to the refuse and waste disposal management of sewage, the report states that the building constructed either in Zone-III or Zone IV (Bani Gala area) are in violation of the ICT (Zoning) Regulation 1992, therefore, conservancy services, including garbage collection and sanity sewerage system cannot be provided by the CDA as per law. The occupants at their own are not taking measures to prevent refuse and garbage causing pollution, contamination and environmental hazards,” the report further says.

The chief justice issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan to assist the court in this case. The PTI counsel raised objection on the CDA report. He said that true picture of the area has not been presented in the report. There is no mention about East, West and North areas. He said all over Islamabad, the CDA land is allotted through auction but this rule did not seem to be applied in Bani Gala.

Justice Atta Bandial said they have taken notice due to two reasons, illegal construction and encroachments on National Park area and pollution of Rawal Dam water. However, he said they could not pass order to demolish 200 houses. The judge said law is equal for everyone and if they order to demolish one house then other houses would also have to be demolished.

The court directed the CDA to give its opinion how the illegal construction be legalised.

About cutting of trees within Botanical garden and National Park Area in Bani Gala, the report says that section 144 has been imposed on illegal cutting of trees. In this regard, FIRs have been lodged under section 188 PPC, whereby 19 persons have been arrested.

Regarding the construction of wall around Zoo-cum- Botanical garden measuring 583 acres, the Ministry of Climate Change is taking steps for the construction of wall as directed by the Prime Minister.

The report further states that the CDA is in process of setting up a special Laboratory in the Planning Wing  in collaboration with SUPARCO for aerial monitoring of unauthorised construction and loss of trees.

Besides this, the CDA enforcement team has also been deployed to monitor and stop illegal construction.