Conversion of greenbelts into plots stayed

ISLAMABAD: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday restrained the Capital Development Authority (CDA) from converting greenbelts into residential plots.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, also issued notices to the CDA chairman, directors enforcement and planning, Iesco chief executive and the director general of the Pakistan Environment Protection Agency in the intra-court appeal filed by the local residents.

Dr Aslam Khaki, the counsel for the petitioners, informed the court that the CDA had developed different sectors in accordance with its master plan with a green and open area in the close neighborhood to ensure greenery and clean air.He said the petitioners purchased plots at high prices due to its specific environment.

But now the CDA has carved out small plots in the greenbelts by changing its master plan and is allotting them to its employees in violation of the land disposal regulations 2005.

The counsel contended that in addition to the civic agency, Iesco was also playing havoc with the lives of the residents.

He pointed out that in sector F-11, the power utility was laying a high tension 132 KV transmission line which was passing through the locality.

In case of construction of houses on the newly-created plots, the houses as well as the adjoining vicinity will become vulnerable to electric shock risks and electric waves.

The Supreme Court in the Shehla Zia case of 1990 had declared such high tension wires close to houses a risk to residents, he added.

After hearing the arguments, the court issued stay order on the construction activities in the greenbelts and put off the hearing till a date to be fixed by the registrar office.