ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday issued notices to the Capital Development Authority (CDA), district administration and other respondents in a petition filed against illegal encroachments in the areas of Bhara Kahu and Murree Road.
A single bench of Justice Babar Sattar also directed the National Highways Authority (NHA), the CDA and district administration to submit replies regarding the matter and deferred the hearing till February 18th.
The IHC bench issued these directions in a petition filed by a trader, Raja Shahid Mahmood through advocate Chaudhry Kashif Gujjar and cited the CDA, the NHA, Metropolitan Corporation (MCI), Chief Commissioner, and Inspector General (IG) of Islamabad police as respondents. He stated that there are more than 1,000 shops/business units in Moti Bazaar, Bhara Kahu and other adjoining areas including Simli Dam Road and Athal Chowk, where the traders are doing various businesses. However, he added that the landlords/plaza owners used to rent out illegally the premises in front of their plazas to get wrongful financial gain on the land/road belonging to the CDA and the NHA. Moreover, he said that hundreds of illegal stallholders, handcart holders and due to encroachment by the plaza owners, the main Athal Chowk got stuck for pedestrians and for vehicular traffic.
The petitioner told the court that due to said illegal encroachments by the landlords, illegal stallholders and handcarts; both the Simli Dam Road and main Murree Road got choked due to which the customers remained unable to visit Moti Bazaar resulting in financial loss to the business community of the area. He continued that due to said blockage a large number of people had lost their lives as some time it took hours to pass through the said junction of the Simli Dam Road and Murree Road at Athal Chowk.
Raja Shahid maintained that this situation is causing difficulties for a large number of people living or traveling through that route thus, the issue is directly an issue of the public at large. He added that the female customers are unable to visit Moti Bazaar, Athal Chowk, and Bhara Kahu due to the blockage caused by illegal encroachments, stallholders and handcart holders.
Therefore, he prayed before the court to accept his petition by issuing strict directions to the respondents to remove the illegal encroachments, stallholders, handcart holders from the aforementioned areas.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021