Row boats at Rawal Lake escape CDA action

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Mar 17, 2013.

Islamabad –┬áRow boats on the Rawal Lake got another short lease on life.

A sessions court on Saturday extended a previous stay order against the closure of the boating jetty at the Lake View Park.

The court will now hear the case on Tuesday, March 26.

The owners of around 50 row boats first went to court on March 6 to stop the Capital Development Authority (CDA), which manages the Park, from putting a steel fence to close the boating area at the park.

Back then, a sessions magistrate had granted a stay order against the fence till March 16.

The fence would have effectively shut down the Rawal Lake boating business, since weekend visitors at the Lake View Park constitute the majority of people who use these boats for leisure.

The boats, which are not equipped with any safety equipment such as life jackets, have continued operations even though CDA withdrew licenses for all boats at the lake in 2o1o.

The licenses were withdrawn following a Supreme Court directive regarding the spread of water pollution in the lake due to boating practices. Although the apex court had only ordered a ban on motorboats and water scooters, CDA overzealously scratched all boating operations and boat monitoring mechanisms.

But the civic agency could not enforce an effective and total ban on boating because of opposition from local boat owners.

The CDA parks directorate sprang to action against the unlicensed and unsafe boats again this month after photos of row and paddle boats operating at the Rawal Lake appeared in the press.

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