Clean And Green Islamabad? Greenbelts Being Ruined, ‘Selected’ Kiosks Still Operating
ISLAMABAD: Although the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) officials have planted thousands of saplings under ‘Clean And Green Islamabad’, establishing more than 22 building materials stocks on greenbelts not only poses a challenge to the campaign but also have ruined hundreds of trees at different locations, a reliable source said.
The source in the Environment Wing of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) informed NayaDaur Media that besides these illegal building materials stocks, more people were launching their businesses on greenbelts and no action had been taken so far by the administration.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed the city managers to take strict measures for a clean and green Islamabad.
The District Municipal Administration (DMA) illegally issued licences to a couple of building materials stocks owners in the last few months, violating the Islamabad master plan.
To verify the claim made by the source, NayaDaur Media visited different places where greenbelts have been ruined by the owners of the building materials stocks.
Another source, on the condition of anonymity, said the building materials selling points were operating with the support of high-ups in the Environment Wing and DMA, as they were equal shareholders in the business.
But even the licensed kiosks have been the target a recent massive anti-encroachment. In this respect, he said the kiosks enjoying legal cover by the DMA had been demolished but those [around 52 which are other than the building material stocks] allowed illegally by the Environment Wing were still functioning.
The official added that a discriminatory approach was adopted in recent operation as influential people owning the kiosks were not demolished and operating illegally. The same practice has been adopted for the building materials stocks which are backed by some officials of the department, said the source.
Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz told court last week that some ministers and MNAs were the owners of these kiosks and that’s why operation had been cancelled against the remaining.
In the recent drive, more than 200 kiosks were demolished in various areas of Islamabad.
When contacted, DMA Director Shafi Marwat refused to comment on the issue. On the other hand, same questions were sent to Director (Environment) Irfan Niazi but he didn’t respond till the filing this report.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.