CDA to preserve historical sites and old trees


The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is making ‘concrete’ efforts to conserve the historical trees and archeological sites in the city in order to help promote the centuries old yet rich culture of the region. Around Rs 40 million will be spent on preservation of the archeological sites and Sadhu Ka Bagh, whereas Rs 7 million will be spent to conserve centuries old trees in addition to utilisation of the departmental resources for the same purpose, said a press statement issued here on Thursday.
It quoted CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi as saying that during his visit to review the development work for conservation and preservation of the old caves and historic Sadhu Ka Bagh in the Shah Allah Ditta area, Environment Member Mian Waheed-ud-Din and other senior officials also accompanied him.
Speaking on the occasion, the chairman said that the CDA had constituted a nine-member committee to oversee the preservation projects while other departments concerned would also be kept in the loop for technical input and cooperation.
Waheed-ud-Din, on the occasion, gave a detailed presentation on the ongoing efforts of the CDA’s Environment Wing for preservation of precious natural and cultural heritage.
He said the committee was being headed by the Environment director general (DG) while others include the Archaeological Department DG, director of the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisation of Quaid-e-Azam University Dr Ashraf Qazi, Environment DDG-I, Regional Planning Director, Wahab Gul of Evacuee Property Trust Board, chief landscape architect of the CDA, Environment (Regional) director and Fauzia Minallah of the Capital Citizen Committee.
“The committee is extending technical cooperation to the CDA for preservation of Sadhu Ka Baagh, Shah Allah Ditta Caves and other archaeological sites. The CDA has devised a strategy to preserve the centuries old trees located in both rural and urban areas of the federal capital,” Waheed told the team visiting the sites. He said that under the plan, the civic agency was preserving and developing 2,400-year-old Sadhu ka Bagh, Shah Allah Ditta caves spanning over two acres and with a cost of Rs 40 million.
The project also covers centuries old trees of different species including date palm, kau, phulai, banyan, mango and peepul. In addition to the development of Saadhu Ka Baagh, he said, the CDA would also preserve the old historical sites adjoining Shah Allah Ditta Caves, a stupa, an old mosque and a boally and a pond at Ban Faqiraan to attract tourists.
In total, CDA would preserve 150 historical/archaeological sites within the ICT jurisdiction.
Moreover, the CDA has already started preservation work of the Rock Shelter commonly known as Lizard Rock or the Tongue of Islamabad located along the Shahrah-e-Kashmir in Sector-G/13.
Elahi said the project was part of the CDA’s efforts to protect the environment and promote tourism in Islamabad for which the Tourism Division had already been set up under the aegis of the CDA’s Environment Wing. He said that these sites, once completed, would be a great tourist attraction.