ISLAMABAD: The top civic body of the capital admitted before a higher court on Tuesday that as many as 165 government-owned accommodations given to their employees were in turn sub-let.
Kashif Ali Malik, the counsel for the Capital Development Authority (CDA) submitted a report of the authority before Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday.
The report revealed that as many as 68 government-owned accommodations had been completely rented out by allottees while 97 had partially sub-let.
IHC gives CDA 10 days to implement land agreement
“This is a case of clear-cut violation and requires immediate action by CDA,” observed Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC after he was told by Malik that the CDA rules do not permit subletting of allotted property.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Justice Siddiqui asked the civic body’s counsel how could the authority allow construction of additional storeys on some official residences provided to CDA employees.
Conceding that the officials responsible for keeping a check on such issues were not performing their duties, Malik said that the report had been submitted only after the court pointed out the issue.
Justice Siddiqui subsequently directed the CDA to take immediate action as per law against these illegal constructions and submit a report before the court by March 1.
In the report, the CDA stated that “there are 165…accommodation that were found [to be] rented out”.
The report further adds that a committee was formed apart from a survey team which was constituted in light of the court’s order. The survey team collected data about government-owned accommodation on CDA pool which were rented out by the allottees.
After conducting the survey of and consulting the previous allotment record from the files available in the Administration Directorate, the report read, they discovered that from 2010 to July 2015, around 344 government-owned accommodations were allotted after relaxing the rules.
Of these allotments, 323 employees were granted possession of government-owned accommodation. As many as 21 allottees did not take possession of their allotted accommodation.
The report further said that after a gap of two years, fresh allotments were made in July 2017. Since three phases of allotment have been made and 140 senior employees have been allotted accommodation on merit and in a transparent manner on the basis of seniority.
Owing to the exorbitant rents in the capital, employees of government organisations, including the CDA, are allotted government-owned properties to live in during their deputation in the capital. The size and location of the property vary as per the designation of the officer or official. Hence, officials pull whatever strings they can to get government accommodation. However, a number of officials also hang on to these properties even after their tenure has ended. Last year, this required a new policy from the CDA who warned retiring officials of action should they fail to vacate their allotted house during the stipulated time.
Curiously, the extension of government-owned houses in the capital has been taking place right under CDA’s nose and a majority of violators are its employees.
In some cases, the employees have occupied land adjacent to their allotted accommodations, parking areas and playgrounds.
On June 29, 2017, a panel of parliamentarians had concluded that the CDA was always late while taking action against irregularities and whenever the civic body swings into action, it only causes loss to the general public.
The parliamentarians while criticising CDA for its lethargic attitude said that the civic managers do not take action over violations at the right time and its attempts at reforms are usually a ‘day late and a dollar short’.
IHC issues notice in Quaid-i-Azam University appointments case
Last year, CDA had admitted before the IHC that over 400 unauthorised constructions existed right under its nose in the capital’s heartland.
The confession of the civic body revealed that a total 403 violations had been detected in Sectors F-6, F-7, F-8, F-10, F-11, G-6, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-11, I-8, I-9 and I-10 of the federal capital. It added that total 214 violations were found in F series, 129 in G series and 60 in I series.
These violations were in addition to over 100 societies already declared “illegal” by the CDA.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2018.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ