The Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) have acquired eight sports grounds from cricket clubs and individuals.

According to CDA/MCI authorities, all city grounds and parks belong to civic agencies, and no one has the authority to manage these facilities. According to them, eight of the eleven grounds have been taken over, and the others will soon be under the command of civic agencies.

“We are formulating a new policy to operate all grounds. Local clubs, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), residents of areas, members of civil society will be taken on board before finalizing the new policy. We want to maintain all grounds besides providing equal opportunities to all citizens to use these facilities,” said an MCI officer.

He said that the grounds were built and maintained by the CDA on its own land for the people of Islamabad, not for a few individuals. For years, most of the grounds were run by private clubs and individuals, and despite their monopoly and accusations of profiting from renting them out, all grounds were well maintained. According to a CDA official, there can be no compromise on grounds maintenance requirements, and it is now the CDA’s duty to keep the standards up.

The CDA sent notices to all of those individuals and clubs last month, suggesting that they vacate the grounds. However, the owners of two clubs petitioned the Islamabad High Court, but Chief Justice Athar Minallah rejected both petitions and ordered the petitioners to vacate the grounds and hand over belongings to the competent authority.