Encroachment Going Or Growing?

Encroachment.jpgOn my recent visit to Jinnah Super in F-7, I realised that once a temporary prayer area for shopkeepers smack in the middle of the central park is now slowly metamorphosing into a full blown permanant mosque. Earlier it was just a platform, then it transformed into a courtyard, and the latest picture depicts a solid boundary and decoration by light bulbs.

The situation is not better in other areas.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) continues to develop new parks in Pakistan’s capital city while people continue to encroach upon them. Building a mosque or a seminary is perhaps the easiest way to legitimise encroachment and it is no surprise that some of Islamabad’s parks are the sites for such construction.

Also guilty are influential owners of private houses who, in at least three instances, have extended their boundary walls to occupy land reserved for parks. Such occupation is upsetting for residents but the CDA appears helpless.

Although notices have been served on encroachers, enforcement has been lacking. CDA departments are busy playing blame games.

Make%20Shift%20Mosque%20In%20Jinnah%20Super.jpgThere are 174 parks in Islamabad out of which seven are major suburban parks like the Rose and Jasmine Garden and the Lake View Park while four are main urban parks. Currently 25 new facilities for children are also being developed while 73 have already been completed.

However, people continue to try and make public property their own. Today a seminary stands partly in a park in F-6/3 (street 9) as does an imambargah in I-8/2 and a mosque in G-10/2 (street 40).

Such encroachments are a problem that must be sorted out because such constructions prevent women and children from visiting parks. A total of 12 of Islamabad’s parks have been partly encroached upon. To complicate matters, slums in various sectors prove another threat to parks.

These localities are home to drug addicts and dwellers are guilty of stealing and breaking swings and slides. They sell them off to buy drugs. Hence the abuse of parks is another reason why women and children stay away.

The CDA, however, seems to have given in to such encroachments and stands powerless to thefts and in protecting the facilities it created.

At the moment, the CDA is developing major parks, among them the Rose and Jasmine Garden, the Lake View at the Rawal Lake and a park for women in Sector G-10/2. Work is also in progress on several other parks like the I-10 greenbelt and another two in the G-10 and G-11 Markaz. The park at Rawal Lake is one of the bigger projects and is being developed along the lake’s natural waterline. The first of its three phases are almost complete and it promises to rival the Daman-e-Koh tourist resort on the Margalla Hills.

1 Comment so far

  1. JayJay (unregistered) on February 28th, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

    No one in the world can beat us in breaking the law and we give a damn to general public morality (I stress public not personal morality)– the problem of encroachments, garbage dumping at public and not so public places, traffic violation, all of are a testimony to our disregard for civil sense. It hurst more when you see when you see messages of hate, violence and illegality are preached from the pulpit.

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