Military Demands Monal Restaurant Land Be Given Back
Capital Development Authority Member Planning Dr Shahid Mahmood has told a parliamentary committee that the Monal Restaurant in Islamabad was built on military land and they wanted it back.
According to a report in Dawn, The CDA official told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change on Wednesday that the CDA was unaware that it was building the restaurant on military grasslands 15 years ago, and only came to know that the military owned the land when they started claiming it.
The official informed the committee that the Punjab government owned the 22,000 acres of land on which the Margalla Hills National Park was located.
He further said that 5,500 acres of land were allocated to the army, though the date of this allocation is unknown. The CDA now owns 16,500 acres.
A survey conducted by the CDA has revealed that the land allotted to the military was in the center of the national park, and that Monal Restaurant had been built on it.
The restaurant, which is CDA property, was built in 2005. Dr Mahmood informed the committee that the operation of the restaurant was leased for a 10-year period.
CDA officials have also said that the space is now being vacated to be handed over to the military.
The chair of the committee, MNA Munaza Hassan, expressed her desire to know who had permitted that a restaurant be built inside the national park, which is protected by law for the conservation of its natural environment and wildlife.
Dr Mahmood apprised the committee that the CDA board had permitted the restaurant’s construction at the time.
He further revealed that inquiries had been held to find out the officials who allowed the restaurant to be built, but no one had been taken to task.
Munaza demanded that the authority share information regarding Monal’s construction on protected land.