It has been reported by the print media that 20% of plots allotted to various government employees are lying vacant in sector I-8-2, I-8-3, I-9-1 and 2 as well as sector H, Islamabad. The plots were allotted by the CDA a long time ago but many plots are still lying vacant. Some of the allotees have sold their plots and new buyer/owners are mostly property dealers/investors who have raised only boundary walls instead of constructing houses. Having acquired the plots in the hope of getting a tidy profit, these dealers/owners have so far failed to submit even the building plans. Besides, many plots are unbounded. The result is that these un-built spaces are being used for commercial purposes in total disregard of CDA bylaws. These vacant plots are a source of great annoyance and inconvenience for residents of the surrounding areas. Some empty plots are used for storage of building materials, others are in occupation of laborers and taxi drivers. In some, wild shrubs have grown where stray dogs reside. There are heaps of garbage and used polythene bags that pollute the atmosphere. There is an acute shortage of houses in Islamabad and demand for accommodation has increased manifold due to migration of people from Swat and tribal areas in the wake of unrest and insecurity. Due to negligence of government to protect and safeguard the rights of its citizens, anti-social elements, criminals, drug addicts and other miscreants have become more active. It is apprehended that these empty plots may become a hub of criminals, religious fanatics, extremists and other lawbreakers. -RAJA SHAFAATULLAH, Islamabad, via e-mail, February 13.