Traders and locals have rejected the new ‘old grant lease properties conversion policy’ announced by Rawalpindi and Chaklala cantonment boards and announced to start a protest movement.
They also demanded to amend the Cantonment Act 1924 regarding the resolution of problems facing the residents in cantonment areas.
The cantonment boards have served final notices to allottees to get their commercial and residential properties regularised by December 31, otherwise, their lease would stand cancelled.
The cantonment boards have levied heavy taxes and fee under the new policy for the regularisation of properties and warned of a crackdown from the new year in the case of non-compliance.
Citizen Forum Cantonment Secretary-General Aziz Ahmed, Anjuman Tajiran Westridge Bazaar President Mir Zaman and other traders said residential that the fee for the regularisation of one marla plot had been fixed at around Rs2 million.
They said the regularisation fee for a whole house had been kept between Rs8 million to Rs30 million which they could not afford.
The traders said that the president and the prime minister have already termed the policy wrong but it was being forcibly imposed on them.
They said that the Supreme Court had already declared that the people who migrated from India after partition and got properties did not fall in the category of old grant lease properties conversion policy.
They said that all residents and shopkeepers in Gawalmandi, Lal Kurti, Westridge and Saddar had been issued red notices with a demand of high fee for the regular lease of properties.
They termed the move unjustified and cruel and announced not to accept it at any costs. They said there would be a big protest if the cantonment boards’ administrations forcibly attempted to impose the new regulation.
The traders also presented a protest note to PTI-MNA Amir Mahmood Kayani. The lawmaker assured the traders that he will take up the matter in the federal cabinet and in the parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2021.
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