ISLAMABAD: Officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Monday informed the National Assembly Standing Committee on Environment that despite issuance of show cause notices, they are yet to secure outstanding amount of Rs190 million against land provided in sectors E-10 and D-11 for construction of General Headquarters (GHQ).

The officials pointed out the fact that when Chairman of the Committee Raja Muhammad Asad Khan asked the CDA officials during the meeting held here about their ‘inactive’ approach to protect natural environment, they said CDA was facing financial hardships and needed funds to take measures for the protection of natural environment.

“We have issued show cause notices for recovery of the outstanding dues against the land provided for GHQ in sectors E-10 and D-11. If we succeed in securing this amount we would be out of financial crunch,” the officials said. The chairman asked the CDA officials to take measures for recovery of outstanding dues and earmark the required amount for conservation and protection of environment.

The officials said GHQ has so far paid a sum of Rs504 million on account of cost of land but it is yet to pay Rs199 million out of total Rs703 million.

The official said audit officials have also pointed out these outstanding dues in an audit paragraph. “Some other government departments are also defaulters,” the officials said.

The chairman of the Committee took strong notice of non-provision of names of 27 allottees who have been allotted plots in National Park area and Saidpur Village and directed the CDA to submit names of all these allottees within one week.

He remarked that CDA again failed to provide names of allottees but now it has been given only one week to do so otherwise the Committee would take necessary steps against it. The committee also showed concern over the alleged allotment of land to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Political Secretary to President Rukhsana Bangash in Daman-e-Koh for construction of restaurants.

The committee members expressed concern over illegal construction of commercial outlets like hotels and motels in the National Park area protected under the law. The chairman agreed to put in efforts for new legislation to remove lacunas in the 1997 Environment Protection Law to ensure that no one is able to secure any allotment in the National Park area and check illegal and ill-planned construction in the capital city.

CDA DG Urban Planning Sarwar Sindhu said illegal and informal construction is being carried out in the areas falling in the ICT.

The secretary environment said that under law no construction could be made in Zone-III and that if any construction is being carried out it stands illegal according to existing by-laws.

Chairman NA Standing Committee on Environment Raja Asad Khan said they would try to put in effective efforts to ensure that no one violates existing rules and regulations with an aim to protect the natural environment.