EPA DG sent on forced leave | Pakistan Today

EPA DG sent on forced leave

ISLAMABAD – The ministry of environment had sent Environment Protection Agency (EPA) director general on forced leave for four months for not fulfilling what he believed their illegitimate demands.
Sources in the ministry told Pakistan Today that Asif Shujah was forced to take a long leave because he was not serving the verbal orders from the ministry asking him to carry out certain illegal acts.
A dispute erupted between the ministry and a land owner over Rs one million worth land near Bani Gala, a suburban area of Islamabad because the ministry wanted to construct a Botanical Research Garden on that piece of the land whereas a private land owner claimed the land’s possession and did not allow the ministry to construct any thing there.
The case was taken to the court and a civil judge settled the issue by giving the ownership of land to that person and when the owner constructed a boundary-wall over that plot, the ministry asked Asif Shujah to demolish that wall despite the court’s verdict.
Shujah refused to do the act saying that it was illegal in the line of court verdict and by doing so, he annoyed the ministry’s higher authorities.
An official in the EPA, on condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the ministry of environment kept on asking EPA not to issue non objection certificates (NOC) to private housing schemes until they pay a handsome price as bribe to those at helm of affairs in the ministry but Shujah tried to get such letters issued on merit.
He said that after sending Shujah on forced leave, the ministry gave the current charge of director general to Asad Ullah Faiz with his appointment letter mentioning that he was appointed as the acting director general against a ‘vacant post’ and would serve till the new appointment for the same seat.
Faiz had confirmed that he had been given the charge of director general on a vacant post till the appointment of new DG.
Shujah said that he started working for the ministry of environment for its betterment but unfortunately people in ministry always created hurdles in carrying out the mega projects.
He added that he did not want to comment about the hiring of new DG because he was on leave but, he said, the higher authorities in the ministry might not want him to continue, therefore, they mentioned his post as vacant.
Ministry of Environment Joint Secretary Iftikhar Rahim who was supposed to issue letters to appointees at the ministry said that if someone was on leave for more than 45 days, his post was considered as vacant but in this case, there was no mention of new DG’s appointment in the letter as it happened only if some got retired from his office.



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