Gun and Country Club: Survey of Pakistan likely to start demarcation of land from Monday

ISLAMABAD: The Survey of Pakistan a premier national surveying and mapping organisation of the country and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) have mulled over demarcation of land of Islamabad Guns and Country Club on Friday.

However, Survey of Pakistan did not start the work on the demarcation of land under the possession of Guns and Country Club (G&C) because representatives of Capital Development Authority (CDA) did not show up in Friday’s meeting.   On July 9, 2018 the Supreme Court while declaring the Gun and Country Club as illegal had also ordered handing over the possession of the venue to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) which originally owns the land.

The bench had also directed Survey of Pakistan to demarcate 145 acres of land on which the club was established and also ordered to look into possibilities of continuing club workers employment and referred the matter of returning membership fee to the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination.

“In compliance of SC court orders the PSB wrote a letter to Survey of Pakistan for demarcation of land, in response of that today a team of Survey of Pakistan paid a courtesy visit,” Pakistan Sport Board spokesman Muhammad Azam Dar told The Express Tribune.  Since the CDA officials did not arrive,  Survey of Pakistan refused to start demarcation in absence of main stakeholders, Dar maintained.

He however said that it PSB told the team of Survey of Pakistan that CDA would also be invited on Monday and it was agreed that demarcation would be started on Monday in presence of CDA officials.  Dar said that financial cost of the survey would be borne by PSB.

Though originally the Gun Club was supposed to be a joint venture between PSB and Club administration, it later became a separate entity through yet another notification in Asif Ali Zardari’s era as the President of Pakistan.   Dar explained that in 1975, CDA leased 145 acres of land to PSB for 33 years against an annual ground rent of Rs72,000 and in 2008 the lease was extended for another 33 years and annual ground rent was also increased to Rs343,000 of which  1,000 feet was assigned for right of way. He said in 38 acres a nullah was also flowing in the centre of the land. “We requested CDA to issue us land possession certificate repeatedly but CDA did not pay heed to our request,” Dar said adding that said that area was earmarked for shooting ranges during 2000 SAF Games but it could not be utilised due to cancellation of the games in the wake of 9/11 and later in 2014 it was utilised as shooting range during SAF Games.  CDA sources said most probably PSB had more land possessing as it was leased 145 acres while it is largely imagine that  PSB was possessing almost 217 acres. The CDA official said that according to law the extra land should be handed over to CDA along with all the facilities constructed over it.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2018.

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