Construction of Islamabad’s first Hindu temple halted
The Capital Development Authority stopped on Friday the construction of the boundary wall on the plot allotted to the Shri Krishna Mandir in Islamabad’s H/9. Once constructed, the temple will be the first place of worship for Hindus in the city.
A team of the authority’s building control department visited the temple site and instructed workers to stop working on the boundary wall.
According to CDA spokesperson Mazhar Hussain, the action was taken because a building plan had not been submitted to the authority. “Any construction taking place in Islamabad, residential or commercial, requires a building plan (map) to be approved.”
Following this, Islamabad’s Hindu Panchayat has halted the construction and decided to visit the CDA office on Monday (July 6) to discuss the matter.
“We had already submitted an application addressed to the authority regarding the boundary wall construction on June 19 but got no response from them,” Hindu Panchayat President Pritam Das told SAMAA Digital.
“The application said that the boundary wall was being built to secure the possession of the plot,” he said, adding that the it did not make sense for the authority to take this step.
The H/9 plot has been in the panchayat’s possession since 2018.
PTI MNA Lal Chand Malhi, on the other hand, said that a building plan for the temple has already been submitted to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has forwarded it to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The plan along with the request for a grant of Rs100 million has been sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan,” Malhi said, pointing out that the PM had initially approved the grant. After opposition from clerics, however, it was agreed that a decision will be taken after advice from the Council of Islamic Ideology.
“Once approved, the plan will be sent to the Ministry of Housing and Works who will approve it and then finally give it to the CDA,” he explained, adding that if the CDA approves the plan, the grant will be released by the finance ministry.
The religious affairs ministry in a press conference on Friday said that it only “releases funds for the renovation and rehabilitation of minority’s worship places”, not for construction.
The Hindu Panchayat is constructing the temple from its own finances, the ministry’s spokesperson said, adding that the CII will, however, be consulted on the matter of funds.
This, however, is not the only problem faced by the panchayat during the temple’s construction.
In a tweet on Saturday, Malhi said the Hindu Panchayat has announced that it is discontinuing the temple’s construction, even if the CDA allows it, due to recent cases of violence and destruction of its site.
“On June 23, we filed a request to the Islamabad district commissioner’s office for security to be provided after the temple site was harassed,” he told
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