LAHORE: Will the president, the prime minister, the public accounts committee or the chief justice take notice of how tax-paying members of the public are being harassed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Islamabad? It is time citizens of Pakistan accept the reality that allotment of plots in Islamabad is for the exclusive benefit of the civil and khaki bureaucracy, pressure groups such as jurists, parliamentarians, etc. and not for the common taxpayers of Pakistan. In 1989, the CDA advertised the allotment of plots to the general public in sectors D12 and E12. Computerised balloting for the plots was held on August 31, 1989 and successful allottees were sent allotment letters in October 1990. Applicants for plots in Mehran sector E12 were mostly middle-class civilians. The last installment was to be paid at the time of possession, which has not materialised even after 23 years. It seems that the CDA is following its undeclared policy to ensure that the dream of ordinary citizens to own a plot in Islamabad never materialises. Scores of other housing schemes have come up since 1989, which were developed and their possession handed over to members of the paid elitist establishment.
In 2008, I again applied for the allotment of a plot in the DHA Valley, Islamabad and was very hopeful that the DHA, unlike the CDA, would not betray the trust of the public. Having paid the 11th installment in May 2011, I was told that the payment of the last installment is to be deferred till further advice from the DHA office. Before this development, fabulous newsletters had been sent informing us of the development work taking place at the DHA Valley. According to press reports, it has now emerged that the DHA was in partnership with Bahria Town, which was handling this project. This fact was never revealed to the general public, which had invested in a DHA project, not a Bahria Town project. Who is responsible for this betrayal of public trust?
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2012.