Protest threats: Sector I-15 yet to see development work begin

Plot owners urge CDA to take immediate steps or they will take to the streets.

Danish Hussain October 13, 2013
The sector was targeted to serve housing needs of Islamabad’s poor families, particularly those whose annual income falls under Rs150,000 per annum, and government employees working in pay scales under BS-16. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is set to come under fire, again, as those allotted plots in Sector I-15 threatened to launch a protest against the agency’s failure to develop the sector.

The plot owners have warned the CDA that a series of protest rallies are going to be staged in front of parliament after Eidul Azha if development work is not immediately started in the area.

“Our hard-earned money is on the line here. Even after a long wait of eight years, there is still no hope that development work would be initiated,” said Zahid Ali, who owns a plot in I-15.

The sector was targeted to serve housing needs of Islamabad’s poor families, particularly those whose annual income falls under Rs150,000 per annum, and government employees working in pay scales under BS-16.

“I dreamt of having a house of my own in Islamabad for years. Now it seems unlikely to materialise in my lifetime. Even then, I do want a future shelter for my children,” said a wishful Nafeesa Bibi, who has invested in a plot.

According to the layout plan, I-15 covers 745 acres. It was acquired in 1968-69 by the CDA, which at the time had planned to develop a total of 5,560 plots and 8,000 economy flats of three sizes for people in low-income brackets.

Estimated to cost Rs1.164 billion, the sector’s infrastructural development work was awarded to a local contractor on a turn-key basis in 2006. After the contractor failed to execute the project, the agreement was terminated in April 2007.

Later, the CDA held bidding with international firms after seeking approval from the federal government through the cabinet division.

In September 2009, five firms were shortlisted for the project, four of which withdrew their nominations, leaving China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation as the only developer submitting a bid. The US$785.5 million bid was turned down as the authority felt the figure was too high.

Subsequently, two Chinese firms, China Railway First Group (CRFG) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation offered to arrange a loan through the China Development Bank to cover around 80 per cent of the cost.

An MoU was signed between the CDA and the consortium during a visit to China by then-president Asif Zardari. But the cabinet division objected to the arrangements, which were finalised on June 6, 2012 in China, as they were not in line with Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

Consequently the new agreement was termed null and void and the CDA was directed to reinitiate it according to PPRA rules. Since then, the project has been shelved.

A total of 8,000 people were allotted flats or plots in the sector, of which the CDA has refunded 3,350. It was also decided that the land dedicated for economy flats will be converted to similar sized plots, accommodating the remaining 4,650 people who did not take their money back.

The decision was taken in view of the unending financial crunch the authority is in.

CDA Public Relations Director Asim Khichi said issues around the stalled sector have been prioritised by the incumbent management. “The chairman has asked the concerned departments to provide presentations with workable suggestions to resolve the issue,” the director said.

According to Khichi, the chairman will announce the initiation of development work in the sector after reviewing the presentations.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2013.

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SULTAN MEHMOOD | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

agree with all of you above, they should give us the land in any highly developed sector or the completed flat.

Falak Naz Kamran | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend Please tell us the latest development under way for Sector I-15 Flats. I am a allotee of a flat measuring 1300 sqft for which I had deposited Rs.1050000/- out of Rs.1400000/- (Total price). This project was started in 2005 and notified to be completed in 2008 after 36 months. It is now Nov., 2013 and non of the flat is constructed and nothing is done to develop this sector by CDA. Rather after being passing of 08 years till date it is heard that CDA is offering the refund to allotees if interested. The question is after 08 years of my investment of money with reputed CDA, the refund will be given back the same or less deposited amount. If I would have deposited this amount in fixed deposit or have purchased the gold it would have almost more than double now. This is on part of CDA considered to be a huge mal-functioning or corruption that it holds a massive amount of innocent investors who trusted the name of CDA and instead of getting in time possesion of flats offered depreciated claims which is also not guarnteed. I therefore appealed to the authority that clarify the real situation and compensate the loss being faced by each allotees with clear policy in this reggard. Other wise we reserve the right to sue CDA in supereme court to have justice . Awaiting for a postive reply and clarifications. Best Regards, FalakNaz Kamran Allotee of Flat in I-15 Sector Capital Development Authority
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