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CDA demolishes encroachments amidst resistance

In continuation of the operation launched on Tuesday, the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) and the Directorate of Enforcement of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) conducted operations for removal of encroachments in Markaz G-9 (Karachi Company), Aabpara Market, and Markaz G-10 under the supervision of assistant director on Wednesday.

As was feared the encroachers and the squatters reacted sharply when the teams of the DMA and the Enforcement Directorate launched this operation in Markaz G-9 (Karachi Company) where shopkeepers pelted stones at the staff of CDA, resulting in injuries to two security guards of the CDA, while many government vehicles were damaged.

CDA has filed complaint against the culprits in Margalla Police Station. The goods confiscated during the operation have been dispatched to the CDA store.

Earlier, on Tuesday the CDA finally picked up some courage and carried out a somewhat meaningful operation against the illegal encroachments constructed in the green areas in front of the Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH) and the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and demolished dozens of structures built illegally.

The menace of encroachments in the city shopping centres as well as in the green areas has always been a serious issue for the CDA to deal with. The Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) as well as the Directorate of Enforcement has always found it almost impossible to deal with this civic problem.

It was after a very long time that the DMA and the Directorate of Enforcement practically took some serious action to remove these encroachments from these two spots in the federal capital.

Last time the CDA tried to carry out such an operation in Markaz I-10, the staff of the DMA and the Enforcement Directorate were made to run for their lives by the encroachers as it was a half-hearted effort. And whatever little the DMA staff managed to confiscate from the encroachers and squatters in that operation, they were forced to return the next day when the ‘Trader’s Action Committee’ representatives stepped in!

However, this time the staff as well as the officers of the CDA had to show some courage because on Tuesday, the first day of the launch of this anti-encroachment operation, the CDA Chairman, Imtiaz Inayat Elahi, along with other senior officials, also came down to the ‘operation site’ and supervised part of the operation himself.

The Director (Enforcement), Mohammad Ramzan Joya, in Tuesday’s operation checked the licences of the kiosks and shelters constructed on both sites on the spot and ordered immediate demolition of those which were found established without permission.

In the past any such effort by the DMA or the Directorate of Enforcement has always confronted stiff resistance but this time, apparently because of the recent directive issued by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, telling the authority to eliminate all encroachments and reclaim CDA’s land wherever it is in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), the CDA officials acted more bravely to enforce writ of law.

However, how the CDA will go about dealing with the massive encroachments over vast tracts of land already acquired by the authority, in light of the directives passed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, remains to be seen.

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