ISLAMABAD: The civic authorities in the capital may soon lift the year-long ban on allotment of land, officials stated.
“We are in process of making standard operating procedure (SOP) and a comprehensive policy to avoid irregularities which were carried out while allotting land in the past,” Islamabad Mayor and Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz told The Express Tribune, adding that the SOPs are expected to be finalised over the next ten days.
He said that CDA’s estate department would prepare the policy in consultation with the chairman and other stakeholders.
With CDA a subordinate department of the Capital Administration Development Division (CADD), the latter’s State Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry had barred the civic agency’s land department from allotting land in the second week of May last year.
The move came in the wake of receiving a number of complaints from citizens regarding alleged corruption in CDA’s land department.
However, while the ban was lifted by the CADD minister, the CDA continued with the ban.
Aziz explained that the ban on allotting land had been in May 2016, while he took charge as the CDA chairman four months later in September. He added that officials in the civic agency and the CADD minister had huddled over the issue at a meeting last week in which they decided to lift the ban.
He added that previously people affected by corruption in the CDA’s land department used to stage large demonstrations as a protest. Even though evidence of corruption committed by CDA officials was provided, the authority failed to stop some influential officials from partaking in crooked practices.
“The actual impact of this [ban] was being felt by those investors who had purchased allotment files at very low price from eligible and genuine affectees who could not process their files owing to the cumbersome process of allotment and corruption in CDA’s land department,” an official of the authority, who is privy to the internal affairs of the CDA but did not wish to be named, told The Express Tribune.
The official added that there were some parliaments and influential political personalities among the investors who were involved in using arm twisting techniques from the platform of parliamentary panels to pressurise the CDA in order to protect their financial interests.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2017.