Famous Monal Restaurant to be shut down?
CDA wasn’t aware of the fact that Monal was being built on military property until the Army came forward.
Monal restaurant is built on the land owned by the military, and now they want it back, as told by Dr. Shahid Mahmood, member planning CDA (Capital Development Authority) to a parliamentary committee earlier this week.
While addressing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change, he further mentioned that 14 years ago, CDA wasn’t aware of the fact that Monal was being built on military property until the Army came forward.
He told the committee that the land of 22,000 acres including and around Margalla Hills National Park was owned by the government of Punjab. According to his statement, 5,500 acres of this land was allocated to the military; however, the year of allocation was not mentioned. Taking his statements into account, the remaining 16,500 acres is now owned by the CDA.
The authority has recently surveyed the area that disclosed the land allotted to the military, which is precisely where Monal is built, right in the middle of the national park.
Monal restaurant, built-in 2005, was initially owned by the CDA. Dr. Shahid Mahmood said while talking to a parliamentary committee that the operation of Monal was leased for the time of 10 years. As per the CDA official report, the area will soon be vacated, and the land would be given back to the military.
Who approved the construction?
Nevertheless, Munaza Hassan (committee chair MNA) raised a point about finding out who approved the construction of a restaurant in the center of a national park, which is under the protection of the law to keep the wildlife secure.
Dr. Mahmood told the restaurant’s operation was permitted by the Capital Development Authority Board. As per his statement, a number of queries took on that the officials should be held accountable for allowing the restaurant construction, but they weren’t successful.
Now the committee chair has commanded the CDA to share details as regards to Monal restaurant’s construction and operation on the land that is secured.
According to Suleman Warraich (Joint Secretary of Climate Change), the government failed to execute an environmental protection act because the state property overlapped with private land and left them confused. He additionally added that the national park was delineated in the early 1960s.
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