Islamabad — A court case over the price of property has delayed the construction of a sports ground in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Battagram tehsil despite provision of nearly Rs. 47.6 million by the provincial government for land acquisition.
According to the Battagram District Sports Officer, a field spread over nearly 37 kanals in tehsil Battagram was identified as the site of the sports ground. But the land acquisition could not go through because of a disagreement over the land price.
“(The owners of the land) are saying the rate should be increased and the roadside area should be left vacant for them so they could use this commercial area as their residential quarters,” the district sports officer wrote in response to an information request.
The information request was filed under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013. It was addressed to the chairman of district Battagram’s revenue department. The request asked for the reasons why a case about the designated land for the approved sports stadium is being contested at the High Court. It also inquired about how much land will be acquired for the stadium and the funds provided by the provincial government for this purpose.
The official response suggested that the Deputy Commissioner and Sports Officer have spoken with the land owners on multiple occasions but the owners continue to demand a higher price and occupation of a part of the parcel.
“(The talks) have not had a significant outcome up until present day,” the district sports officer wrote in the reply.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had built 100 playgrounds in the province by February 2018 and was working to complete 50 new grounds at the union and tehsil council level, according to a news report. A sports facility was reportedly constructed in Battagram district’s Alai tehsil in 2017. However, neighbouring tehsil Battagram, which has a population of around half a million, is still deprived of a sports ground.
Locals protesting against the lack of development in the area in January 2018 had alleged that “the tehsil government had failed to construct a sports stadium in Battagram despite the availability of a funds,” according to a news report.