The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has offered the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) 25 acres for the development of a cricket stadium in Islamabad.
The CDA recently approached the PCB with an offer of 25 acres near D-12.
“I spoke with PCB officials a few days ago and informed them that CDA has set aside 25 acres for the project.” “CDA and PCB will hold a meeting on it next week,” CDA Chairman Noorul Amin Mengal told Dawn on Sunday. He stated that the CDA has 150 acres near D-12 and Shah Allah Ditta that will be used to promote sports.
“Out of the total, 25 acres will be given to the PCB for the cricket stadium, and we will develop other sports facilities on the remaining land,” he said, adding that the cricket stadium in the Margallas foothills will add to Islamabad’s attractiveness. International cricket matches will also be held at the facility.
The Supreme Court canceled a stadium construction project in Shakarparian in 2018.
When asked about the possibility of environmental activists protesting because the area is in Zone III, the CDA chairman said he had been told that the area was outside of Zone III, and that even if it is, the civic agency could use it for sports facilities like the ones already built near Aabpara, such as the sports complex. This area is also classified as Zone III.
“There is no reason why Zone III cannot have sports and recreational facilities, and we even have hiking trails in the Margalla Hills.” But I’ll look into it again,” he said.
It is worth noting that the PCB and CDA had begun construction of a stadium in Shakarparian, but the project was halted in 2018 by the Supreme Court due to its proximity to a national park in Zone III.
The CDA recently decided to file a review case against the Supreme Court’s judgment authorizing the stadium’s construction. However, the civic agency has now decided to propose new stadium sites to the PCB.
Doxiadis Associates, the Greek group that created Islamabad’s master plan, designated 2,250 acres in Shakarparian as a sports area in 1960. The area is bounded to the north by Islamabad Highway and to the south and east by Murree Road. In the region, the government built a sports facility, a museum, Lok Virsa, a golf course, and the Islamabad Club.
However, through a notification in 1979, the government ended the area’s independent status and included it in the national park and Zone III, implying that no new facilities could be developed there.
The announcement also included many settlements outside of the Margalla Hills in the national park and Zone III. However, successive governments never attempted to amend the 1979 notification, which resulted in the mushrooming of unregulated construction.
Surprisingly, Saidpur Village is also included in the national park, whereas Super Market is largely included in Zone III.