Cabinet defers construction of multi-storey building on railways’ land

The cabinet had constituted a four-member committee under the supervision of Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood to examine the issue in detail

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday deferred the case of construction of a multi-storey building on railways’ land in the cantonment area of Nowshera.

Sources said that the ministry of railways had presented a summary pertaining to the decision taken in the cabinet meetings, held on January 12 and March 16, regarding the construction of a multi-storey building on railways’ land in Nowshera.

The cabinet had constituted a four-member committee under the supervision of Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood to examine the issue in detail and come up with recommendations for consideration of the cabinet in two weeks.

The ministry of railways stated that there is a need to incorporate the views of the minister for railways being a member of the committee in the report.

The ministry maintained that the committee is not the appropriate forum to decide ownership of the land but one thing is clear that the ultimate owner is the federal government.

Sources said that the ministry also conceded in the meeting that the cantonment board, which has been designated by the government to oversee military lands, can regulate its use within its designated jurisdiction according to the parameters of the law and rules. Hence, a NOC from the respective cantonment board is necessary for any construction in the cantonment area.

Besides, the committee felt that since the original purpose of the land allotted to railways was for communication, any other use of the land in this particular case is subject to NOC by the cantonment board.

It is pertinent to mention that the ministry requested the cabinet to approve the report of the committee as the ministry has to submit it to the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan in the light of its directives in a case.

The cabinet also held detailed discussion on the TLP protests and later approved the agreement reached with the TLP.

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