CDA and Islamabad Wildlife Board Clash Over the Zoo

The Capital Development (CDA) and Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) have once again locked horns in a legal battle over the possession of Islamabad’s desolated Zoo.

On June 23, 2020, a ceremony was arranged where the CDA was supposed to hand over the zoo to the IWLB in light of an order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). However, it ended up without being transferred to the wildlife board as CDA Chairman Aamir Ali Ahmed did not show up to attend the event despite his commitment.

Meanwhile, the IWMB refused to take only the management responsibility of the zoo sans the possession of the land and other assets while the CDA insisted that the high court had passed the order to handover only the management of the zoo to the wildlife board and the land and other assets could only be handed over after the approval of the federal cabinet.

IWMB Chairperson said that the high court had ordered to hand over the management and the entire assets of the zoo to the wildlife board. She stated that more than six months have passed since IHC issued the order but the CDA was reluctant to hand over to the management and assets of the zoo to the IWMB.

“The zoo was to be formally handed over to us at today’s ceremony,” she said, adding that “we had talked to the CDA chairman and he had committed to participate at the ceremony but today he did not show up again. This means that the CDA does not want the zoo to be handed over to us. Now we have no choice but to go to court again,” she maintained.

Rina further said that the issue of handing over the zoo to the IWMB has been going on since 2019. “We want to demolish the old zoo and start constructing a new one once the zoo and its assets are formally handed over to us. We cannot do anything here until we have full control of the land,” she added.

The IWMB chairperson said that the board is planning to set up a Margalla Hills Wildlife Centre. “A first-ever wildlife centre will be established in line with the prime minister’s clean and green agenda for the overall environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation,” she shared..

A CDA official, who had turned up to participate at the handing over ceremony, said that the court had ordered to hand over the management of the zoo to the IWMB and did not issue specific orders to hand over the land. “Only the federal cabinet can decide on the transfer of the land to the wildlife board,” he said.

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