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‘Illegal’ parking sealed: CDA comes down hard on Centaurus - Printable Version

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‘Illegal’ parking sealed: CDA comes down hard on Centaurus - Salman - 10-31-2013 02:34 PM

‘Illegal’ parking sealed: CDA cISLAMABAD:
The administration of the newly-opened Centaurus Mall on Wednesday experienced another setback after civic authorities sealed its ‘illegally’ extended parking facility.
At present, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had restrained Centaurus management from collecting a parking fee from visitors.
The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Enforcement Directorate sealed the parking site stretching over five acres — some 3.5 acres beyond the permissible limit, said a senior official of the authority requesting anonymity.
“The Centaurus administration had extended their parking facility illegally after grabbing an adjoining plot acre,” the official said, adding that the plot belongs to CDA and was lying vacant.

The official claimed that action was taken after the Centaurus administration failed to take appropriate action despite being served several notices by the authority against the encroachments under the garb of a parking facility.
He said in 2010, the CDA board had decided to give temporary management of the public parking facility of around 1.4 acres adjacent to the mall to Centaurus’ management.
“But the Centaurus administration also encroached and fenced an adjacent vacant plot of CDA measuring over three acres,” he said. “The parking lot has been sealed by placing concrete blocks at the entrance and exit,” said CDA Assistant Director Enforcement Riaz Khan.

However, on Wednesday, the CDA enforcement wing not only sealed the parking at the encroached plot but also on the existing public parking plot.
Centaurus Spokesperson Ghayas Abbasi, while talking to The Express Tribune, negated the impression that the Centaurus administration had extended the parking facility by encroaching on CDA land. “The plot does not belong to us, it is a public parking area and every citizen has a right to utilise it,” Abbasi said.
However, he said the Islamabad administration had recently asked them to close the parking facility at the basement of the building keeping in mind the present law and order situation. “After that request, we asked visitors to park their vehicles out in the open.”
He said a direct foreign investment amounting to $500 million was linked with the Centaurus project and if such actions continued to happen in the future it would shatter the confidence of foreign investors.
Earlier, on July 23, 2013 IHC had restrained the administration of Centaurus to collect parking fee from visitors. The parking fee was imposed to control the great influx of citizens visiting Centaurus for other than shopping or eating purposes.
The Centaurus project that began in 2006 includes a five-star hotel, two residential towers and a corporate tower in addition to the mall. The tower management partially started its operations in February 2013 when it opened the tower’s first four floors comprising various stores, a food court, a cinema and a mini theme park.
Several controversies have hit Centaurus including violation of height restriction, establishment of a dedicated grid station and construction of a flyover in front of the tower. Moreover, Pak Gulf Construction Company — the real estate developer of Centaurus — has yet to pay the cost of the plot to the administration.omes down hard on Centaurus