Conversion of parks, green belts into residential areas

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Bill tabled in NA to restrain CDA from changes in Master Plan

By Ikram Junaidi

ISLAMABAD: Member of National Assembly (MNA) Parveen Masood Bhatti has tabled a Bill in National Assembly (NA) to restrain Capital Development Authority (CDA) from changes in Islamabad’s Master Plan without the approval of the cabinet.

If the Bill were passed it would not be possible for CDA to convert park, green belts and other lands into residential plots. In this Bill, called the Capital Development Authority (Amendment) Act, 2011, it has been requested that the authority shall not change Master Plan of the Capital without approval of the Cabinet and a proposal for any change in master plan shall be published in the official Gazette and in two Urdu and two English newspapers published from Islamabad and having largest circulation for calling public objections and suggestions.

It further said that no areas declared as parking areas in the Master Plan should be converted into residential or commercial areas and no change in the plan shall be made having negative effects on environment of the Capital.

The Bill says whoever encroaches or unauthorisedly occupies or possesses for any purpose any property which vests in the Authority, or in violation of any permission of the Authority in writing, or abets, a person who is empowered to control such encroachment or unauthorised occupation or possession, permits such encroachments, unauthorised occupation or possession or unauthorised constructions, within his jurisdiction shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of four years and with fine which shall not be less than Rs 2 millions or equal to the quantum of loss caused to the Authority, whichever is more, subject to lawful procedure.

Secondly any person so authorised by the Authority, or having information of such encroachment, unauthorised occupation or possession, may report to the officer in-charge of the concerned police station and such officer shall immediately remove such encroachment, unauthorised occupation or possession and restore its original position.

Any officer or official of the authority who is authorized to check encroachments, unauthorised occupations or possessions, fails to perform his duty shall be treated to have committed misconduct and shall be liable to be dismissed from service, subject to law regulating the service terms and conditions.

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