ISLAMABAD - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has formed a nine-member committee to ensure preservation of centuries old archaeological sites within the capital city. The team comprises CDA officials as wells as officials from other relevant departments.
The development came during a meeting chaired by CDA Chairman CDA Imtiaz Inayat Elahi on Thursday, a statement issued here said.
Mian Wajihuddin, CDA’s Environment Directorate official gave a detailed presentation on his department’s effort for preservation of precious national heritage.
According to the press statement, the newly-formed committee would be headed by CDA’s Environment Directorate director general (DG) while others members include Archaeological Department of Pakistan DG, Quaid-e-Azam University’s Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisation Director Dr Ashraf Qazi, Environment DDG-I, Regional Planning director, Wahab Gul of Evacuee Property Trust Board, CDA chief landscape architect, regional environment director and Capital Citizen Committee member Fauzia Minallah. The committee will extend technical support to the CDA for preservation of Sadhu ka Baagh, Shah Allah Ditta Caves and other historic sites.
The statement added that the CDA has devised a strategy to preserve centuries old trees located in both rural and urban areas of the capital with huge funds. The civic agency aims at preserving and developing 2,400-year-old Sadhu ka Bagh, located at Shah Allah Ditta and stretched over two acres of land, and Shah Allah Ditta caves with an estimated cost of Rs.19 million. The project initiated in the vicinity of Shah Allah Ditta would cost Rs 26 million in total.
It was also decided in the Thursday’s meeting that in addition to the development of Saadhu Ka Baagh, CDA would also preserve the old historical sites such as stupas, old mosques and a pond at Ban Faqiraan to attract tourists.
It was decided that in total, the CDA would preserve 150 historical/archaeological sites within Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The meeting was told that the CDA has already started preservation work at the Rock Shelter commonly known as Lizard Rock along the Shahrah-e-Kashmir in Sector G-13. It was also learnt that informative signage had already been erected highlighting the history of trees and local species.
According to a CDA’s survey, Islamabad has over of 32 Date-Palm trees, 126 Kau trees, 86 Phulai, 176 Banyan, 54 Mango, 12 Peepul, 57 Badh and 135 trees of other species. CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi said the objective of the project was to protect the rich cultural heritage of Islamabad. He said the project was part of the CDA’s efforts to protect the environment and promote tourism.