Transporters block road to protest operation against illegal bus stands

  • DMA, ICT bulldozed illegal bus stands in April despite resistance from transporters

ISLAMABAD: In a coordinated effort, the transporters who were affected by District Municipal Authority (DMA) and Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) anti-encroachment operation blocked Islamabad-Murree Road for hours near the town of Satra Meel here on Monday.

The blockade was in response to the city manager’s anti-encroachment operation in which they had razed all illegal structures including stands, stalls and other constructions from bus stands located in and around Faizabad.

The protestors raised slogans against the CDA, DMA and authorities concerned, and demanded that their bus stands be restored with immediate effect. However, after initial hiccups, the authorities succeeded in talks with the protestors, after which the protest was wrapped.

It is pertinent to mention that the protest came in the aftermath of the anti-encroachment operation that city managers had undertaken against the transport mafia in Faizabad – city’s busiest bus stand –during the last week of April.

Back then, CDA’s Enforcement Wing and Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad’s Directorate of Municipal Administration in collaboration with ICT Administration and Islamabad Police conducted a mega operation at Faizabad. This operation was carried out against transport stands operating illegally.

In the mega-operation, all the operational staff of the enforcement directorate took part under the supervision of Dy Director Muhammad Ramzan, while the staff of DMA and MCI, headed by Director Ali Sufian took part.

ICT Magistrate Ali Javed along with the reserve police provided magisterial cover and also supervised the activity. Two excavator machines were also borrowed from MPO for demolition purpose.

The city managers had taken up the much-needed operation after a plethora of litigations, which were previously subjudice in Islamabad High Court, were resolved.

A multi-million rupees project launched in March 2017 to monitor the encroachments via satellite has also been shelved.  On the directions of the prime minister last year, the CDA, hell-bent to curb encroachments, was to ink an agreement with Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO to identify encroachments in capital through a satellite system.

It was decided that SUPARCO will update CDA’s planning wing every month by providing them updated and detailed images of every sector in the capital. SUPARCO was also to establish its setup in CDA headquarters to provide the images twice a week.

The whole agreement aimed at facilitating CDA, which instead of sending their field officers to assigned areas, can monitor the encroachments from their offices and take prompt action.

While the above SUPARCO-CDA joint venture remains a dream, the MCI’s struggle to find a suitable fit for DMA director continues unabated. Within two days of the operation against Faizabad bus station, DMA Director Ali Sufyan was shown the door by IHC and sent back to the Ministry of Commerce and Trade.

His successor, Malik Attaullah, a BS-18 officer, too was removed in less than two days.

In the struggle for the top post of MCI Directorate of Municipal Administration director, Deputy Director Malik Attaullah, who was awaiting posting, was given the charge of Municipal Administration director when Islamabad High Court removed then DMA director Ali Sufyan, a grade 18 officer of Commerce and Trade group, to be sent back to his ministry.

Additional Director Zafar Iqbal, who is presently posted as Emergency and Disaster Management director, has been given additional charge of DMA director on a temporary basis and till further orders.