CDA Seals Visitors Information Centre on Margalla Hills Trail 5

The Enforcement Wing of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) took abrupt action on Thursday by sealing the Visitors’ Information Centre near Trail-V.

This move comes as the CDA grapples with the loss of control over Margalla Hills National Park, including the closure of Islamabad Zoo. It is pertinent to mention that the Visitors’ Information Centres were under the control of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB).

It was responsible for guiding visitors and protecting wildlife on Margalla Hills. The civic authority’s enforcement wing sealed the premises after reportedly throwing away the furniture and belongings of the IWMB staff.

The CDA officials alleged that the premises of the visitors’ center were utilized for residential purposes. However, IWMB chairperson Rina Saeed denied the accusations.

Saeed stated that the information center was being utilized for wildlife protection, particularly for monitoring leopards. The IWMB chairperson highlighted the dedication of the staff, who were even present at the center overnight for this purpose.

An office order from December 5, 2015, designated the Information Centre building temporarily to the IWMB for office purposes only following approval by the CDA chairman at that time.

Established in 2015 and operating under the purview of the Ministry of Climate Change, the (IWMB) is responsible for the protection, conservation, and management of wildlife on Margalla Hills under Section 4 of the Islamabad Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation, and Management) Ordinance, 1979.

Almost a year ago, the government attempted to transfer control of the (IWMB) from the Ministry of Climate Change to the Ministry of Interior through a proposed amendment in the law. However, it did not materialize in the end.

Previously, the Islamabad Zoo was closed due to negligence on the part of CDA staff.

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