Parking plaza CDGR wants its land back

Gulshan Dadan Khan Mosque Murree Road Rawalpin...

Gulshan Dadan Khan Mosque Murree Road Rawalpindi, pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

RAWALPINDI, March 26: Following the directives of the Punjab government to build parking plazas under private-public partnership in the city, the City District Government Rawalpindi has requested the Punjab government to give back possession of the 13 kanals at Raja Bazaar to Rawal Town Municipal Administration.

The defunct Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) owned the land which was later taken over by the provincial government after the TMA offices were shifted to the new complex in 2004.

The former office, spreading over 13 kanals and 11 marlas, has been lying vacant for the last seven years. At present, a Suzuki and wagon stand has been set up at the site and the TMA is collecting parking fee from the vehicles amounting to Rs4.5 million per annum.The Punjab government made two attempts to sell the land and other adjoining property measuring 37 kanals, including that of Rawalpindi tehsil offices (14 kanals) and CIA police office commonly known as Kotawali (10 kanals) through its privatisation board.

However, after receiving new directions from the provincial government, the TMA and CDGR proposed to construct a parking plaza at this land.

MNA Malik Shakeel Awan and PML-N traders` union president Shahid Ghafoor Paracha also managed to get approval from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during his visit to the city two weeks back.

After getting a green single from the chief minister, the CDGR sent the request to the provincial government to denotify the land.

“I sent the request to the district coordination officer (DCO) for getting back the possession of the land,” said Saif Anwar Jappa, the Rawal Town administrator.

He said there was a dire need to construct another parking plaza in the area to accommodate the vehicles. Over 60,000 vehicles daily ply on roads around Fowara Chowk and we need proper parking arrangements there. The roadside points, however, accommodated only about 200 vehicles, he added.

The DCO, Saqib Zafar said the CDGR would get back the land for the parking plaza and then decide whether it would be built by the TMA through its own sources or through private parties.

He said the CDGR was also planning to build two more parking plazas in different areas. The DCO said he inspected two sites at Benazir Bhutto Road and Banni Chowk and the proposals would be sent to the government soon.