Centaurus encroachment case: SC summons Mayor, CDA chief

Expresses dissatisfaction over the reports submitted by Municipal Corporation Islamabad

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STAFF REPORT

ISLAMABAD

The Supreme Court on Tuesday summoned the chairmen of National Highway Authority (NHA) and Capital Development Authority (CDA), and the Mayor Islamabad in the Centaurus shopping mall encroachment case on next date of hearing.

A three-member SC bench headed by Jsutice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Maqbool Baqar and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel also expressed dissatisfaction over the reports submitted by the Municipal Corporation Islamabad, CDA and NHA regarding encroachments in Islamabad.

During the course of proceedings, Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that the NHA chairman was responsible for all the deaths occurred on highways and the authority should take stock of the matters in that regard.

Justice Ahmed remarked, “The NHA chairman is responsible for the death of the people on roads and action should be taken against you. The NHA has become corrupt to the core. The 500 NHA employees have failed to provide facilities in Islamabad. Compare the condition of the Karachi-Hyderabad highway and the Islamabad-Lahore highway, you will see a marked difference. You have done nothing in the last three years and wasted time by sitting idle in the office. Put on jogging shoes, a shirt and pants and go out to work.”

He observed that the NHA had killed many people due to the use of substandard material in roads construction.

The court also directed the NHA and CDA chairmen to submit comprehensive reports on encroachments in a month.

Justice Gulzar observed that 11,500 NHA employees had failed to provide facilities in the federal capital.

The judge said that CDA must remain within limits by following the 1960s master plan. He said that the civic body has failed to deliver in Islamabad as the city lacked facilities such as roads, transportation, electricity and water supply system.

The court also directed the CDA to remove all the encroachments around the Shifa International Hospital.

Justice Gulzar remarked that Safa Gold Mall was constructed on the state land allocated for a hospital and directed the CDA to construct the hospital on that land.

He said the Centaurus Mall was using the state land for parking while the state land could not be used for that purpose.

He asked the CDA to construct a hospital or a school on the parking plot being used by the Centaurus.

He remarked that plantation should be done along both sides of the Kashmir Highway and the Expressway.

Justice Gulzar observed that the CDA chairman was holding charge of dual posts as he was also performing duties of Commissioner Islamabad. The CDA had made the federal capital as a commercial entity, he added.

He remarked that the CDA should also keep in mind the 1960 master plan of the Islamabad before starting any new project.

Later, the hearing of the case was adjourned for a month.