CDA adds 450 kiosks to Faizabad

ISLAMABAD, Oct 13: In complete disregard to the Supreme Court directive regarding removal of encroachments, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has issued licences for the setting up of 450 temporary kiosks at the already congested I.J.

Principal Road, it has been learnt.

In January 2011, while taking up an adverse possession of land case, the apex court had directed the civic agency to retrieve the over 20,000 acres from encroachers.

In June that year, the city managers launched a campaign and got the land vacated. However, the authority failed to contain the ever increasing encroachments.

According to the copy of a letter dated September 17, 2012, the directorate of the municipal administration wing of the CDA stated: “Chairman CDA has in principle considered the proposal for issuance of licences to the existing vendors initially for a period of one year at Faizabad pocket of I.J. Principal Road to the extent this office (chairman’s office) will issue hawker passes only to the individual ‘vendors’ doing their business presently at the site purely on temporary basis on payment of the licence fee.”

The details of the letter indicated that the CDA has fixed Rs1,000 as a monthly licence fee with 10 per cent annual increase.

The letter added that the issuance of the 450 hawker passes would help the authority generate more funds. However, officials in the civic agency differed with the move of the former chairman, saying it would increase more encroachment and block any development on right of the way of the busy road.

One official close to the development added: “These hawker passes will lead to the establishment of kiosks, not temporary points at all, on the left side of Faizabad Flyover.”

He said the CDA would generate only Rs5.4 million annually from these licences. This much amount can be generated through any other creative business idea. This step will only create nuisance for the authority because permanent structures will be developed alongside the flyover,” observed a finance wing official.

A resident living in a building close to the Faizabad Flyover said the move would pave the way for massive encroachment.

He said only cart pushers and small scale vendors were sitting on the site where 1,000 hawkers have been issued licences.

When contacted, CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid claimed: “The matter relating to the allocation of some 450 licences has already been brought to the notice of the chairman, Tahir Shahbaz.”

He said the DMA had been directed by the chairman office to furnish a report on the matter.He said the CDA chairman had given stringent guidelines to all the directorates to ensure that court orders were strictly followed and rules and regulations not violated before giving approval to any business concern.

The spokesman said a handout would be issued to the media once the matter was addressed by the chairman’s office.

He claimed that if any violation was found in the allocation of the licences, the authority would “go by the book.”