islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to utilize its land worth billions alongside the IJP Road which is mostly under the possession of land grabbers. The civic body that usually doesn’t allow even a kiosk on its land without permission is continuously silent over the misuse of an almost 11 kilometers long and 300 feet wide strip of land situated alongside the IJP road.

It was envisioned by a city manager at the beginning of capital city that a road having 600 feet wide right of way will be laid down between the sector I and J at the present junction of the federal capital and the garrison city, but later on the decision was revised and the authority had decided to construct a 300 feet wide road instead of a 600 feet wide road.

However, the CDA in the meantime had already acquired a considerable chunk of land for current IJP road, whereas a portion is still not accquired, but the whole strip is under the control of CDA according to the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Zoning Regulations 1992.

“The land alongside the IJP road is divided into two categories; land acquired by the CDA and the land owned by the general public”, an official explained, adding: “According to ICT regulations there will be no permission for the establishment of any scheme without having prior permission of the civic authority even in unacquired land.”

According to zoning regulations 1992, “No access will be made to or from Khiyaban-e-Sir Syed without the permission of the Authority.” But the situation on ground is entirely different as currently more than two dozen link roads have been established to provide access to the local settlements from the main IJP road, which is not only a violation of zoning regulations, but is also creating hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic on the main road.

Though, the zoning regulations 1992, allows residential and commercial schemes in the area after fulfilment of the CDA’s formalities, not a single scheme has received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) so far from the authority in this regard.

Currently, a number of CNG stations, petrol pumps, car wash stations, workshops bus stands, timber stores, and marble factories are working on the CDA’s encroached land or utilizing this land to take access of the main road.

On the other side, due to the negligence of the CDA, a large portion of worthy land is being encroached upon by these business enterprises without paying a single penny to the authority, which has caused a heavy loss to the public exchequer.

 “It is quite unfortunate that the planning wing forgot an important asset and failed to adopt a modus operandi to utilise this land in the best interest of the authority”, a source inside the CDA has commented on the situation. Talking to The Nation, Director Regional Planning CDA while responding on the issue has said: “CDA had successfully auctioned a few plots on the site near Pandora stop in past and earned huge amount, whereas a well devised policy about this land can convert this encroached land into a huge source of income.” “CDA has been conducting anti-encroachments operations in the area from time to time however there is still need for a comprehensive and coordinated effort to end encroachments”, he added.

People of the locality i.e. I-9, I-10 and I-11 believe that if the CDA enforces its writ on both sides of the main IJP road then it can convert it into a beautiful avenue, whereas it can also help police to curb street crimes as currently the criminals use multiple link roads to flee from the capital.