ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) land directorate has been stopped from allotting alternative plots due to the reporting of massive corruption. As a result, landowners who were promised alternate plots from the civic agency continue to suffer as they attempt to get possession of the promised plot.
According to reports in the local media, landowners whose properties were acquired by the civic agency for developing residential sectors and other purposes were entitled to alternative plots. However, after widespread corruption was reported in the directorate last year, the CDA decided to stop allotting alternate plots instead of taking steps to eliminate corruption and make the system transparent.
CDA’s Land Directorate is one of the most corrupt directorates and several officials, mostly former officials, of this wing have faced legal proceedings for corrupt practices. Last year, the then acting CDA chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz had removed the head of the directorate after receiving reports of wrongdoing and had stopped the allotment of plots for the time being. His action was followed by successive chairmen, neither of whom tried to bring about concrete changes to eliminate corruption.
A CDA official revealed that officials of the Land Directorate, through various tactics, would keep delaying genuine cases so that those entitled to alternate plots would sell their claims to property dealers for a nominal price. These dealers would then get the files approved within a few days by certain officials and would earn millions from each case, splitting the profits among themselves.
Due to pending claims, particularly due to Built-Up Property (BUP) claims, several of CDA’s sectors are stalled. Officials said other than corruption, a faulty land award system was also one of the major reasons for the delay in the finalisation of claims for alternate plots. They said in many land awards, the civic agency did not announce the BUP awards and a pending BUP award provided locals a chance to claim more than their due share of plots.
As a result, the authority has not launched a housing scheme for decades, causing an increasing gap in affordable housing in the capital city for the middle class.
According to CDA documents, the stalled sectors include E-12, where the civic agency sold plots in the late 80s but is yet to give possession of developed plots to the buyers. Hundreds of the original buyers have since then allegedly passed away.
MCI opposition leader Ali Awan, who is also a member of the PTI said the CDA had grossly mishandled the issue of allotting alternate plots, adding that this was injustice with the people whose lands were acquired decades ago who are still trying to get compensation.
Meanwhile, CDA Member Estate Khushal Khan said frequent changes in CDA chairman last year was one of the major reasons for the delay in allotting alternate plots.