The Islamabad administration has sealed off the Monal restaurant and arrested two of its workers for degrading the beauty of the Margalla hills and cutting down trees and unauthorized expansion.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqat told media that the management of Monal Restaurant, located on Margalla Hills, has been sealed for cutting down trees and vegetation from the vicinity without the permission of the Environmental Department of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
It should be remembered that the Margalla Hills area is included in the National Park where cutting down trees without permission is prohibited.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad said that even during the hearing in the ‘Margalla Hills Protection’ case in the Supreme Court, CDA Chairman Amir Ali Ahmed told the court that the expansion of Monal Restaurant was illegal. “Monal has been sealed off due to illegal expansion and tree cutting. A large part of Margalla Hills also falls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”
It may be recalled that the Parliamentary Standing Committee was recently informed that the part of Margalla Hills where Monal is located is owned by Military Farm Grassland. Since then, the current administration has started giving lease money to Military Grass Farmland instead of CDA from August 2019.
According to sources, the Monal administration has told the CDA that they have cleaned the grass and trees on the instructions of the military grassland as there were snakes in the surrounding bushes and there was a danger of fire.