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Acting Chief Justice asked report about Islamabad encroachment

18 May, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Acting Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, on Friday, said that despite driving for the past 40 years, he was unable to do so in the city anymore. He made these remarks while hearing a Supreme Court case related to encroachment in the capital. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ahmed, summoned Islamabad mayor and National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman. They were also directed to inform the court of steps taken to clear encroachments from Islamabad and the highways.

The top court also asked for a report with pictures on operations as well as the retrieval of Centaurus Service Roads. Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman informed the court that the service roads had been retrieved while adding that an operation was underway in the Blue Area as well as across the federal capital.

Justice Sardar Tariq Masood noted that even today, barriers had been placed on Margalla Road.

The chairman responded that the city would soon be cleared of encroachments. To which, the justice remarked, “Let’s go now and see how many encroachments have been cleared.”

He added that the Kashmir Highway and Islamabad Expressway were in “bad condition”. On big roads in the city, there were no pedestrian bridges, he continued.

The judge remarked, “There shouldn’t be U-turns on a big road in Islamabad,” adding, “The streets of Islamabad shouldn’t appear to be blocked under any circumstance.”

“The reflectors placed on the streets of the capital are also not working,” he noted. Justice Ahmed lamented, “I have been driving for 40 years.” He continued, “Yet, it is not possible for me to drive in the federal capital.”

The chairman asserted that they were making the expressway signal-free while adding that after three years, the grant for the expressway had been allocated in the budget.

According to Justice Ahmed, it was impossible to go from Bhara Kahu to Muree. He added that the greenbelt of the Embassy Road had also been taken over.

Hearing this, the CDA chairman responded that work was underway for the extension of Embassy Road. The chairman noted, “[We] will satisfy the court with our performance.”

Remarking on the lack of public transport in Islamabad, the acting chief justice also asked, “Why are there no public transport facilities in the capital?” He added that those coming to the Judicial Colony had to get off miles away and walk.

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