Sports

CDA had allotted land to PCB in 2008 for the construction of the cricket stadium:Sethi

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday said a cricket ground cannot be constructed in Shakarparian if it falls within the limits of the national park.
“If the cricket ground falls within the limits of Shakarparian National Park, then it cannot be constructed there,” Justice Nisar said.
A three-member SC bench headed by Justice Nisar was hearing a petition filed by former secretary Roedad Khan, who has pleaded that a project to construct a cricket ground in Shakarparian is anti-environment.
The petitioner, who is also the chairman of the Margalla Hills Society, told the court, “Influential people have been given the authority to chop down trees to construct the stadium.”
He added, “After earlier court orders, the chopping and crushing of trees had been halted.”
CJP Nisar questioned if a cricket stadium can be built in Shakarparian and if the land allotted for it falls within the limits of the national park.
To this, the petitioner responded, “Not aware of the limits of the park but know that it is a protected area and development activity there is a violation of law.”
Justice Nisar said, “First it needs to be established if the ground falls within the park. If it does, then it cannot be constructed there.”
Responding to the question, Additional Attorney General Rana Waqar told the court, “The land allotted for the cricket ground falls within the limits of Shakarparian National Park.”
“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had asked for 48 acres of land in 2008 for the construction of the ground,” he added.
The additional attorney general further pointed out that Captial Development Authority (CDA) had stopped construction of the ground after 2013.
“We did not even have a deal with PCB,” he added.
The SC had summoned CDA Chairman Usman Bajwa, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi and Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) secretary for today’s hearing.
Responding to SC’s concerns, Sethi assured that PCB aims to be “environmentally friendly” and will not construct a ground there if it falls within the park’s limits.
“We will return the land if it falls within the park,” the PCB chairman said.
The CJP told Sethi, “If you want to work, then work towards art and culture. But that does not mean that in the name of art and culture, you build fish stores and restaurants which destroy the environment.”
“Several stores have been built around Lahore’s Qaddafi Stadium and the smoke from the restaurants even comes inside the stadium,” Justice Nisar added.
“Maybe some PCB members have established these stores and earn money from them,” the CJP further said.
Justice Nisar further directed CDA to establish whether the land allotted falls within the park’s limits and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.
The court also maintained its order halting construction of the ground.
Believe there should be a cricket stadium in every city: SethiSpeaking to the media outside the court, Sethi said, “We are committed towards working towards the betterment of sports in the country.”
Sethi shared that he believes there should be a stadium in every district of the country but that the effects on environment should not be overlooked.
“We believe there should be a cricket stadium in every district and that there should be one in Islamabad too,” he said.
The PCB chairman further added that CDA had allotted land to PCB in 2008 for the construction of the cricket stadium, but a petition was filed against it.
“We do not want the environment or natural setting of the area to be adversely affected,” he upheld.
“If a stadium cannot be constructed in this area, then we won’t build it,” Sethi added.