The Enforcement Directorate staff of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday carried out what they called an anti-encroachment operation in Sector I-9 and destroyed the lawns that the owners of private houses have developed and tended for decades.

The CDA carried out this surprise anti-encroachment operation at around 10 a.m., which lasted for about a little over half an hour during which, with the help of a huge bulldozer the CDA uprooted all trees and plants and demolished whatever structure, like small brick pillars and iron posts for installing iron-mesh to protect the hedgerows that they have planted since decades.

The operation by the CDA was conducted in Street 17 of Sector I-9/1, facing the I-9 Markaz, running along the single two-way road. There is a space measuring around 15 feet available between the boundary walls of the houses and the road that almost all house owners-occupants inhibiting in the street from House No. 1 to House No. 82 have used to create mini-front gardens.

One of the residents, Farrukh Aftab, whose small garden was also destroyed in the anti-encroachment operation, told ‘The News’ that the CDA team arrived at around 10 a.m. along with a big bulldozer and started destroying hedgerows, uprooting trees and demolishing iron posts and brick pillars that people have built to support the iron-mesh they had installed to protect their small gardens.

“Hardly any male members were at home at that time and whatever hue and cry the women present in homes raised were brushed aside rudely by the CDA official who claimed to be an assistant director.

“I am doing what I have been told to do. No prior notice was required to demolish an encroachment. And this is my style of work,” the CDA official told the women and some other people who demanded of him to stop the operation or at least show them orders to conduct the operation.

The residents of Street 17 have decided to approach the CDA chairman to protest against the action. “On one side the chairman is claiming that he is trying to return the ‘green character’ that the city once had. On the other hand, his men are destroying whatever green patches we, the residents of these small houses, have created on our own and trees that we have planted and tended for decades to grow,” they bemoaned.

When contacted, a senior official from the office of the spokesman of the CDA said that the operation was conducted on the demand of the public. “The CDA has no objection in setting up such front lawns outside the boundary walls as long as those do not obstruct free movement of the general public. The residents of these houses have blocked the footpath running parallel to the boundary walls and the road passing in front, something which caused inconvenience to the pedestrians. This is not true that the CDA has acted on its own accord but it was in response to the demand from the public living in the area,” the CDA official told ‘The News’.

Source: The News