Illegal housing projects thrive in Pindi

Scammers continue to deprive innocent citizens of hard-earned money

Jamil Mirza September 20, 2023


The number of illegal schemes, depriving innocent citizens of their life savings in the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA)-controlled area and the limits of the district council, including Murree, Taxila, Rawalpindi City, Gujar Khan and Kotli Sattian, have reached 405.

According to sources, the business of selling plots to innocent citizens through illegal housing schemes has reached its peak in Rawalpindi.

On the other hand, the RDA has also launched an operation to stop the marketing of illegal and under-process housing schemes, demolish their site offices and register cases against them.

After innocent citizens fall into the trap of buying plots in illegal housing schemes, they face a plethora of issues including not having infrastructure of residential facilities as per the announced plan, inordinate delay in completion of the development work and legal disputes regarding the ownership of the land of such housing schemes.

Lack of law enforcement

However, due to the lack of effective enforcement of the law against them, this business based on deception and fraud is continuing with impunity. In this regard, RDA Director General Muhammad Saif Anwar Jappa has formed a task force to crack down on such illegal housing schemes. “We have so far demolished site offices and entrance gates of dozens of illegal housing schemes,” a spokesperson for RDA told The Express Tribune.

He said in addition to the demolition action, the registration of cases was also going on against such illegal housing scams.

Sources said there are only a handful of housing schemes in the RDA-controlled area and the well-known areas of Tehsil Rawalpindi.

More files, fewer plots

They said the housing society founders do not consider it necessary to fulfil legal requirements. At times, more plots are sold in the form of files than the available land.

“At present, the situation is that the number of approved housing schemes by the RDA is 13 while the number of unapproved and under-process housing schemes is 18 and the number of approved housing schemes to the extent of town planning is 37,” they said.

“The number of approved housing schemes by the District Council is nine, four in Murree tehsil, six in Taxila and the number of under-process and unapproved housing schemes is 11,” they added.

Business as usual

Despite the initiation of an extensive crackdown, the sale of plots in these illegal housing schemes has not stopped because the number of legal and sanctioned housing schemes is negligible compared to the illegal housing projects.

RDA spokesperson Hafiz Muhammad Irfan says on the instructions of the RDA DG, the department’s task force has started a large-scale crackdown against illegal housing schemes. “Registration of cases, demolition of structures and heavy fines are the links in this chain,” he said.


Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2023.


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