ISLAMABAD    -   The Federal Cabinet yesterday declined to regularise the unauthorised constructions of the Islamabad Model Prison.

The boundary wall of the prison is constructed by encroaching the right of way of 17th Avenue while some buildings are constructed without approval in the Buffer Zone — a green area strip running on the southern side of the Kashmir Highway.   

A summary in this regard was moved by the Interior Division in which it was requested to regularise the already constructed building in the buffer zone, however, the same was not accepted by the federal cabinet. 

The cabinet expressed its reservations and directed to rase down the illegal constructions on green areas. It is also directed to fix the responsibility on those who were involved in illegal developments and ordered a strict action against them.  

It is expected that a number of officers from Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and the Capital Development Authority may face inquiry and disciplinary action as a huge amount has been spent on the construction of model prison. 

A land measuring 90 acres in Sector H-16/2 was allotted to the ICT for the construction of capital’s model prison in 2013. A 1,200 feet wide Kashmir Highway is running in the north of the site whereas 600 feet wide 17th Avenue in the west of the model prison. 

However, due to unseen pressures at that time some buildings of the model prison were constructed in the buffer zone for which no land use change approval was taken from the cabinet while the boundary wall of the model prison had also been constructed in the Right of Way of 17th Avenue by encroaching it up to 78 feet on western side of the jail.

The issue between two organisations surfaced in 2018 when CDA asked ICT to rectify alignment of the boundary wall to avoid encroachment in the Right of Way of 17th Avenue. 

In response, the PakPWD blamed CDA’s land survey section for wrong demarcation of the site and informed that they had already spent Rs338 million on the construction of the wall and they were unable to remove the same. 

On the other side, the planning wing of the civic body took a stance that according to the possession certificate signed by the concerned officials of ICT at the time of handing over the model prison, he was supposed to seek a verification report from CDA at plinth level before proceeding further but they did not comply with the same. 

The matter was placed before the CDA board with two options that the existing boundary wall of the model prison might be removed and a new wall should be constructed according to the right coordinates or request the federal government to amend the master plan. 

The CDA board opted for the second option and decided to send the matter to the federal government for amendment in the master plan as the first option involves a loss of Rs.338 million to the government exchequer.

The federal cabinet in June 2020 had allowed to amend the master plan with regards to 17th Avenue but did not approve the land use change of buffer zone. Now, the summary was once again tabled to get approval for the illegal buildings constructed in buffer zone but the same was rejected by the federal cabinet.