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Islamabad: CDA yet to implement SC directives

Islamabad: Capital Development Authority (CDA) fails to redevelop the Jubilee Park in F-7 Markaz despite clear directives given by the Supreme Court bench to revive it in its original condition instead of developing a mini-golf club at the site of the park.

Massive development has taken place in every nook and corner of Islamabad in the last couple of years with the exception of this park, which has been made totally useless for public as it is yet to be restored to its original state despite a passage of considerable time.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) had awarded a contract to a person, known for such kind of ventures, for turning the land of the park into a mini-golf centre with an aim to generate profit through commercial activities. The Supreme Court took suo moto action and cancelled the lease deal, keeping in view the fundamental rights of the general public.

The park was earmarked in the original scheme of Sector F-7 for low income groups that are usually deprived of the benefits of having their own private gardens, so the fact underlines the need for redeveloping the park to provide the local people with an opportunity to sit and enjoy serenity in a highly natural environment.

“There is an ongoing development all over the city but it is difficult to understand why does not CDA pay attention to this park that was once a popular place for visitors,” said Sohail Ikram, a resident of the area.

A large number of visitors were denied the facility when CDA had given the land of the park on lease for 15 years at a rate of 2.55 million per annum to construct a mini-golf centre and initial construction work was started soon after the award of the contract.

Social circles raised their voice against the act on the ground that the construction of the mini-golf centre would deprive most of the people of this entertainment facility because all commercial activities would require an entry fee from the visitors.

Those who appeared before the superior court presented the argument that in a public park, citizens including children were not required to purchase tickets and once the mini-golf course was established, the entry of general public would be obstructed in terms of imposing conditions, including purchase of tickets and to enjoy other amusement against payments.

Environmentalists also showed concerns over the project and argued that it would cause grave damage to the natural character of the place that was known for its calm and serene environment.

CDA after the court verdict assured that the park would be restored into its original shape but so far no development work has been started despite the fact the local people who used to visit this facility are waiting anxiously for its complete restoration.

“The park was never ever in its ideal state because it needed a lot of improvement work to attract more visitors. It was really unfortunate that instead of developing it into an attractive public park the concerned authorities has turned it into rubbles,” said Amir Mughal, an employee at a local franchise near the park.

CDA Member Environment Mazhar Hussain told ‘The News’ that spadework for redevelopment of Jubilee Park is underway and a comprehensive development project would be finalised in the coming weeks.

“We are fully aware of the aspirations of the local people and the park would be soon made one of the best recreational facilities in the capital city. As soon as the project is given final shape the construction work would be started at the earliest,” he said.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=155655

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