As the row between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and residents of E-12 over compensation continues the civic agency with the help of the city administration is weighing a strategy to evict “illegal occupants” from the area to start the much-awaited development work on the new sector.
In-charge of the Cabinet Division Khursheed Shah informed members of the Senate during the question hour on Thursday that CDA had no justification for the delay in development of new sectors. He, however, said that work in E-12 has been stalled due to disagreement over award of land and built up properties in the new sector.
The CDA acquired 706 acres in sector E-12 in 1985, but could not take possession of the land due to negligence of top officials of the civic body. As a result, the affected people are now demanding more compensation for built-up structures, which has increased manifold over a period of time, in addition to initial compensation, the minister said. Although protracted negotiations were held with the affected residents, they refused to agree on a package offered by CDA, he added.
Sector F-11, inaugurated in 1987, was the last residential sector the civic agency had developed. The CDA had announced Sector D-12 in 1987 but it was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in January this year despite the fact that over 250 kanals of land is still under adverse possession.
However, Shah was optimistic that following directives of the Supreme Court, a strategy was being chalked out for the eviction of illegal occupants from sector E-12. He hoped that the authority would get back possession of land in three months.
CDA has already stopped operation against illegal occupants of sector I-11 in violation of Supreme Court orders under the pretext that Afghan refugees are dwelling in the area and Interior Ministry had intervened for a compromise. But according to sources, the main reason behind the failed operation was lack of cooperation from the Islamabad administration and Capital Police.
The city managers earlier had sought approval from the federal cabinet to open sectors I-11 and E-12. The civic body prepared a report on acquisition of some pockets and development of the two sectors and sent it to the cabinet division.
A senior official of Planning Wing of CDA said that a special meeting between CDA and representatives of residents of E-12 would be held here at the main Directorate of CDA today. “If the issue is not solved through negotiations, an operation would certainly be the last option to get back the authority’s land.
Parking fee issue
The minister told the Upper House of the parliament that contracts for collecting parking fee at picnic spots and parks of CDA were awarded in a fair and transparent manner through open bidding.
Responding to supplementary questions of Seemi Siddiqui and Naeem Hussain Chattha, the minister said he would take up the matter with concerned quarters as to why contractors do not take responsibility for parked vehicles at picnic spots. However, the minister said no incident of vehicle theft had taken place at parks and picnic spots of the federal capital during the last five years.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2011.
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