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Land mafia cashing in on CDA ‘inaction’
 
 
 
Land mafia cashing in on CDA ‘inaction’

ISLAMABAD - Private property builders rule the roost in the outskirts of Islamabad by attracting plot seekers to invest in real estate business while Capital Development Authority (CDA) sleeps over its residential sectors it had announced years back.
The inaction of CDA to come up with its promised sectors in the federal capital has proved to be a bless for real estate tycoons that pocketed billions by attracting plot seekers after developing residential units in the outskirts of Islamabad.
Launched in 1980s, the capital’s premium civic body has badly failed to develop E-12 sector till today and in 2008 it went ahead with announcing C-series of residential sectors including C-14, C-15 and C-16 for which land is yet to be acquired.
Similarly, the civic authority had launched CDA Enclave but Behria Enclave that was launched three months later by a private real estate giant not only developed its sector but also sold out plots in minimum time to what official sources said the biggest failure of CDA in terms of financial losses and credibility.
While the work goes at a snail’s pace on C series of residential sectors, private builders at Sangjani area and along the under construction Islamabad International Airport are almost giving final touches to residential pockets grabbing the investors that were waiting for investing in C sectors of CDA.
While the CDA is yet to develop I-14 and 1-15 launched in 2005, private builders quietly purchased land along G.T. Road and disposed of plots to thousands of applicants thus once again beating CDA and cashing in on its inaction.
But officials and those involved in real estate business look suspiciously at CDA’s inaction arguing that influence of land mafia had penetrated deep into the ranks of the top civic authority so that private builders could cash in on its failure to develop plots in the federal capital.
However, the sources said that things were quite different now, as Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan wanted CDA to develop its promised sectors in order to compete with private land developers.
“The Interior Minister is at odds with Behria Town, therefore, he has instructed CDA to kick off work on C sectors besides purging Islamabad of encroachers in order to restore the confidence of investors in CDA and discourage private builders,” a source commented.
With CDA yet to acquire land in C sectors, people have started purchasing land from owners in Shah Alla Ditta village (the site) on meager prices so that they could sell it at exorbitant prices when the capital’s civic body would start acquiring land.
The CDA is tight lipped over starting land acquisition process in C sectors, as it would allow private investors to buy land from owners in the area and then would bargain with CDA when the authority would approach people ahead of land sharing formula.
Member Estate CDA Shaista Sohail declined to share anything when asked about land acquisition process in C sectors, however, officials involved in sector development told The Nation that work on preparing estimate of the sectors had been initiated.
It is to be mentioned here that the CDA being an autonomous body has exhausted most of its profit earning sources and is left only with the option to explore more residential sectors for its financial health.

 
 
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