Capital Development Authority (CDA) is subjected to Islamabad High Court (IHC) by hundreds of Khokha owners. As complying the court orders’ regarding Safa Golf Mall case, CDA demolished several licensed khokhas in the territory of Islamabad on July 7. Meanwhile, a khokha owner named Muhammad Sabir has filed a case against CDA officials in IHC against CDA’s action.
On July 31, IHC under Acting Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb supervision, heard the petition submitted by Mr. Sabir. During proceeding, it recalled the decision taken on July 3. In that decision, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani remarked that some Khokhas are not part of Islamabad Master Plan of 1962. 30 days deadline was given to these owners to remove their valuable products and belongings. Conversely, on July 7, right after 4 days of aforementioned decision by IHC, CDA demolished all khokhas without any prior warning.
On July 31’s hearing, IHC read out the decision of July 3rd, where CDA was asked to remove illegal buildings and encroachments from the city. IHC has shown extreme anger towards the civic agency’s official to misinterpret licensed khokhas with illegal encroachments. IHC asked CDA to submit the Islamabad Master Plan and the hearing was adjourned till next day for further proceedings.
Khokhas in Islamabad
These khokhas are part of Islamabad since 1992. At that time, there was not as such development in the area to fulfill the day to day demands of residents. As a result of which, CDA allowed some individuals to acquire license for opening of Khokahs that could be renewed after certain period of time. Individuals paid handsome amount to CDA on part of license fees.
These khokhas are present in different areas of Islamabad facilitating various strata of society including labors, workers, students, drivers and many others. Umer Gilani, lawyer of Mr. Sabir, called CDA’s this action as “Anti-Poor Drive of CDA”.
Backlash to CDA
CDA is having hard time in maintain its reputation among general public. In Safa Gold Mall case, people are severely criticizing this civic agency. As on the first place, why CDA had allowed to build the commercial building in such questionable plot. Afterwards, why CDA really didn’t take any action when the construction work was going on. Now, after years, when general masses have largely invested their hard earned money, CDA came out of nowhere to seal this mall.
Similarly, in this case, firstly, CDA has allotted license to Khokhas owners. Also, these individuals piad amount to civic body. Continuing its legacy, CDA has demolished these khokhas now on part of court’s order resulting in loss of poor people’ investment and values.