Islamabad -   The private and public sector organizations have been violating the rules regarding protection of green belts by occupying state land in the federal capital and set up parking lots over there. 

According to the officials at the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Marriott and Serena hotels are occupying the state land since long. Sources said that the enforcement directorate of the authority had got vacated two CDA plots occupied by the Marriott Hotel and handed it over to the concerned directorate of the authority, environment directorate.

The plots which are on the rear side of the hotel were later included in the list of ‘plots available for auction’ but unknown hands frustrated the move just to give the hotel an opportunity to re-occupy the plots, sources added.

Similarly, efforts on part of the enforcement directorate to clear the road adjacent to the Serena premises went futile, as the hotel management is still holding possession of the land and erected their security barriers.

According to the officials, U-fone Tower is also occupying a CDA plot adjacent to the building and set up parking lot over there. The plot, according to the officials, was earlier vacated by the enforcement directorate but later, what seems, the tower management in connivance with the environment directorate re-occupied the plot.

The hotels at Murree Road including Best Western, Tulip and Embassy Lodge have been occupying the state land adjacent to their respective premises.

The enforcement directorate of the authority, in a massive operation some one year back, had got vacated majority of the pieces of the state land that were occupied by these hotels and asked the environment directorate to take control of the same but the latter did not move for the purpose. The hotels are still holding possession of the land.

Another hotel, the CDA officials said, Tandoori has been allotted public parking by the DMA in violation of rules and regulations. Ali Baba Hotel in G-11 sector has been occupying a CDA plot since long. That plot was also included in the list of ‘plots available for auction’ but the move could not be materialized due to reasons best known to the high-ups at CDA, said the sources. The Supreme Court had banned setting up parking lots in green belts of the city so that environment is not compromised.

Islamabad Club has also encroached upon kanals of the state land. The CDA officials have had found the Club having encroached upon an area of 90-95 feet in front of the actual plot line. The Club has been using state land for commercial purposes without entering into any agreement with the authority. Several notices were served to the Club management for vacation of the green belt but all in vain. The green belt is being used for commercial/parking/ private purposes. Similarly, public sector entities including NHA, PMDC, IRSA, and others have set up parking lots in green belt in front of their actual plots along service road of G-10 sector. NADRA has also set up parking lot on green belt but CDA has hardly taken notice of the same.

When contacted, DG Environment CDA, Sheikh Suleman said that it is the responsibility of the enforcement directorate or land directorate to retrieve control of the occupied land. He said Marriott Hotel has got a licence for the parking lot in green belt. However, when asked about the plots on the rear side of the hotel, he said Directorate Municipal Administration is in a better position to answer the actual situation. He said the enforcement directorate conducts anti-enforcement operations in different parts of the city from time to time to clear the state land.



tahir niaz