ISLAMABAD – The Capital Development Authority (CDA) decided on Wednesday that the Potohari Arts and Crafts Village would be made fully functional and its maintenance completed faster. The decision was taken during a meeting regarding the village held at the CDA headquarters, presided over by the CDA chairman Farkhand Iqbal and attended by the CDA Board Secretary, Director Arts and Crafts Village, Indus Heritage (IH) representatives and other senior officials of the civic body. The controversial Arts and Craft village is not functional and investigation agencies have been looking into the anomalies in the project.

Former CDA chairmen, including Tariq Mahmood and Imtiaz Iniyat Elahi did not take much interest in the project which resulted in higher costs as compared to the original estimates.

The village was to be built near Shakarparian on 26 acres of prime land. It aimed to provide poor artisans a platform for displaying their work in cultural exhibitions. During the meeting various proposals came under discussion, including the constitution of a high level committee to be headed by the CDA Chairman and comprising of CDA and Indus Heritage representatives. Iqbal directed the committee to come up with a comprehensive plan to start arts and crafts activities in the village and to ensure that the necessary maintenance work was completed at a faster pace. He also directed the authority’s formations to complete the landscaping in the village.

Iqbal said the CDA will invite artists and craftsmen from across the country to display their creations. He said the village would serve as a showcase for traditional crafts and handloom heritage, generate income and provide Islamabad with a unique shopping and entertainment experience. He said that the Potohari Village was constructed to promote indigenous arts and to enhance inter-provincial harmony. He said the exhibitions at the village would promote a softer image of the country as foreign diplomats and delegates would visit the village.