ISLAMABAD: An inter-ministerial committee on encroachment has asked the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to submit a model of proposed khokas. The committee, which is supposed to assist and supervise the CDA and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) in the anti-encroachment drives, has been pushing the civic agency to regularise the khokas.

The committee would meet on Wednesday (today) under the chairmanship of Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Shah, a notification issued on Tuesday said. According to the terms of reference (ToRs) of the committee spelled out in the notification, the committee will play an ‘advisory’ as well as ‘supervisory’ role to facilitate the CDA and MCI in their anti-encroachment actions and interventions.

The notification directed the CDA to present mapping of all encroachments in the ICT and anti-encroachment drive. The CDA has been directed to share the model design and sites of Khokha market. The notification also directed the CDA to present a plan for assisting and funding the Khokha owners for construction of their shops on the identified site on a loan or grant basis. The committee consists of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CDA Ali Nawaz Awan, MNA Khurram Nawaz, Senator Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari and others. Last month, during a meeting the CDA had proposed 12 urban and seven rural locations for kiosks. After the meeting, the interior minister had directed the CDA to identify the areas in every sector for construction of kiosks.

The main areas identified for such spaces included Park Road near the Rawal Dam Bridge, Park Road opposite Shahzad Town, Taramari Chowk, Bhara Kahu Murree Road, Khanna Bridge, Chamber Road in Rawat, opposite Blue Area in G-7/1, near Iqbal Hall in G-7/3, Blue Area near the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in G-813, opposite Markaz in G-9/2, near the sewage treatment plant in I-9/1, opposite Markaz in F-10/3 and opposite Markaz in F-11/2. It had been proposed that there should be a unified template for kiosk designs across the city. There are more than 450 kiosks in the capital that were cancelled by the Directorate of Municipal Administration of MCI. The MCI and CDA have demolished a number of kiosks after declaring them illegal. On the direction of the inter-ministerial committee the CDA is now going to establish a Khokha market to accommodate the owners.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2019