The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Capital Development Authority (CDA) and police to take action against those responsible for illegal construction and tree cutting at Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).
The two-member bench, headed by Justice Shaikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, expressed their frustration on the illegal activities taking place at MHNP even after the ban was imposed by the court in 2016.
The court ordered the police to take action within 24 hours against CDA officials i.e. Director General (DG) of Environment and DG of Estate who were involved in granting permission for construction in the region.
The court also ordered the ICT and CDA to submit a list of people responsible for illegal activities in the National Park within 48 hours.
Illegal Resorts and Hotels
While hearing the suo moto on Thursday, Worldwide Fund for Conservation of Nature (WWF) DG Hammad Naqi, gave a presentation of illegal activities taking place in the National Park. He told the court how different resorts, hotels, restaurants and houses were being built in the park illegally.
During the expansion project, many trees were cut down along the Embassy Road. The court ordered CDA to give an explanation for cutting these trees along with all the relevant data of the expansion project.
Justice Qazi said that there are but a few footpaths in Islamabad, it looks like that the CDA is not worried about the pedestrians and only cares about the wealthy car owners.
He said that the government had placed the containers at different locations in the city making it look like a war zone.
CDA Has Failed to Do Its Job
Justice Azmat said that the CDA officials have actually failed to perform their duty. He asked the CDA counsel to take responsibility and they should be removed from services, and if the people who had allowed the construction are transferred or retired then action should be taken against them as well.
“Take indiscriminate action against houses in restricted zones whether they belong to any judge or general,” Justice Saeed remarked.
“CDA officials are paid salaries for the deterioration of city environment,” said the judges.