Malpractice: When there’s not enough land to go around

SSEHS investors still waiting to receive their due.

Peer Muhammad April 10, 2012


A large number of investors of the Senate Secretariat Employees Housing Society (SSEHS) have begun to lose hope in receiving their land that seems to be lost in a quagmire of corruption and mismanagement, it has been learnt.

Investors, mostly lower grade employees of the Senate Secretariat, invested in the housing society when the scheme was launched in 1996, but have not received their due. Currently, the SSEHS has neither a sufficient number of plots to distribute, nor does it have the funds to return the invested amounts.

A senior Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration official said that there are approximately 3,900 SSEHS members of which 203 members have deposited their full dues and have not received their plots.

The society currently has 1,100 acres of scattered land, with one compact piece measuring 679 acres, however it is lesser than the area required to accommodate the SSEHS members. Further, out of the amount deposited with it, the SSEHS account only has Rs5.3 million.

The official said that the housing scheme is in a worse situation than the National Assembly Employees Housing Society (NAEHS), where the National Assembly special committee took timely action and managed to recover a large portion of the land from illegal property dealers.

“Nobody is talking about SSEHS despite the fact that it has more members and significantly more money invested in it [than the NAEHS],” the official said.

An employee of the Senate Secretariat, Ashiq Ahmed, said he invested Rs500,000 in early 2000 but has not gained possession of his land.

“I don’t know whether I will be able to get the plot in my lifetime,” he said. “I invested my hard-earned money despite financial constraints,” he added stating that owning his own house has long been a dream.

According to a recent audit, irregularities worth Rs51,504,835 have been found in the SSEHS accounts, allegedly committed by the former managing committee in collusion with the developer.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed said that such issues arise because of frauds committed by property dealers who often send files to many people, without giving them possession of the land. He added that the ICT administration would issue instructions to all purchasers not to buy shamilat land, where fraud is often committed by property dealers.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.


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