ISLAMABAD  - The Ministry of Housing is working hard to convert the existing government accommodations into multipurpose buildings, Parliamentary Secretary said in National Assembly yesterday.

During the Question Hour, the secretary said that there is no illegal occupant at the government residences in the capital.

However, he said, trespassers has been served legal notices to vacate the houses. Most of the houses have been got vacated by the enforcement branch of Estate Office.

Some trespassers have got stay orders from different courts which are being pursued by the litigation branch of this office to get vacated stay orders. The secretary said that in Karachi, illegal occupants have been residing in 3000 houses since 1960s. He said in 1970 they went into litigation and since then the case has been under trial in different courts.

He said the field office of Estate Office Karachi comprises one Inspector and one Sub Inspector for 7882 housing units in various 4 federal government colonies. Therefore, on receiving complaints against trespassing/subletting/misuse of government accommodations, that office took action under the provisions of Accommodation Allocation Rules, 2002 and Central Government Land and Buildings (Recovery of Possession Ordinance), 1965.

He said the matter has been taken up by the Standing, Committees of National Assembly and Senate on Housing and Works. It was decided that all the occupants will be accommodated to some multipurpose buildings, whose ground floor will be used for commercial purposes like shops. He said the issue has been politicised and all stakeholders including representatives of political parties will be called to have a consensus. Talking about the housing facilities for government employees, he said that since 1995, when the government decided to provide financial assistance to employees instead of allotting them plots, government employees are suffering. From the last 20-21 years no housing facility has been built for employees. He said with the assistance of CDA, the government is planning to build ten-storey flats, to accommodate 1100 employees, where presently only 92 are residing.