CDA bulldozes illegal encroachments at Centaurus

  • CDA operation retrieves 15 acres of state land illegally occupied by Centaurus Mall administration

ISLAMABAD: In a landmark operation, Capital Development Authority (CDA) has trashed elephantine encroachments by Centaurus Mall on state land, turning a residential complex comprising around 400 rooms and an office complex containing around 150 rooms into debris.

The CDA went ahead with its unprecedented anti-encroachment operation despite resistance, which caused injuries to six persons, including CDA’s enforcement director. 15 acres of prime state land was retrieved during the operation with a total worth of over Rs20 billion.

CDA estate member Khushal Khan supervised the operation while Islamabad Assistant Commissioner Dr Faisal and directors of enforcement, building control section, market and roads maintenance, public relations and urban planning were present on the occasion. More than 150 officials from enforcement, 30 from environment wing and several assistant directors and building inspectors from building control section participated in the operation. Heavy machinery of Machinery Pool Organization (MPO) directorate and other formations were utilized during the operation.

The operation began early in the morning and included the razing of a two-storey office complex comprising 150 well-furnished rooms and a residential complex comprising 400 rooms, which housed Centaurus Mall employees. The demolished area presented the façade of a residential colony complete with a general store, hotels, a petrol pump and other constructions. The CDA also destroyed the containers, barriers and fences erected for security purposes around Centaurus Mall.

During the operation, Centaurus Mall administration and employees halted the operation twice and started pelting stones on the CDA staff. CDA enforcement director, three other CDA officials and two Islamabad police officials got injured during these resistive efforts. The resistors also destroyed an excavation machine and a bulldozer completely in addition to damaging many official and operational vehicles.

Following the resistance bids, two separate applications for lodging FIRs were submitted in the relevant police station. Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner Dr Fasial provided his full assistance to the personnel carrying out the operation. Three miscreants causing blockages to the successful completion of the operation were arrested.

It is pertinent to mention here that Centaurus Mall administration was occupying the state land for eight years, during which CDA issued it several notices to clear the encroachments voluntarily. It issued its final warning 24 hours before its operation on Wednesday.

Islamabad Mayor and CDA Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz appreciated the successful carrying out of the operation and said that operations against encroachments and illegal constructions should continue, adding that efforts should be made to restore the capital city’s natural beauty and grace.