islamabad - The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has been losing its precious land worth billions of rupees to land mafia and the things have started turning from bad to worse allegedly with the active support of the concerned elected representatives, both at national and local level, to the encroachers.

The land grabbers are eating up precious state land rapidly particularly in the suburbs of the city and the beds of nullahs are even no exception. The teams of environment directorate of the CDA days before spotted a group of land grabbers which was encroaching upon the bed of Korang nullah by constructing an RCC wall. “The construction started after sunset and until morning a four-foot high wall was constructed right in the middle of the nullah,” said the sources in the CDA. They said Raja Tahir Nawaz, Haji Hameed, Iftikhar and some others had started occupying 3 kanals of CDA land right in the middle of korang nullah’s bed at Bhara Kahu, Murree Road near Abbasi Hotel.

The CDA teams, however, reached the spot Thursday morning along with police officials and demolished the construction. The police also confiscated a tractor trolley loaded with construction material and also nabbed a land grabber on the spot. The CDA officials also approached police station Bhara Kahu for registration of a criminal case against the accused for damaging and attempting to occupy state land.

The sources said that the land grabbers are enjoying active support of the local political leadership. They alleged that without active support of the elected representatives, the land grabbers cannot dare grab vast tracts of CDA land.

The local governments system was introduced in the federal capital at the end of 2015. The elected representatives have started interfering in the CDA affairs for the worse, apparently for political gains, the sources alleged. “The recent case is one of the examples,” they added.

Several housing schemes are operating along Korang nullah on occupied land cutting into a major portion of the nullahs. About a dozen housing societies are operating illegally without NOC from the CDA in Zone-IV and V and are fleecing thousands of people, who had invested millions of rupees in pursuit of a dream for a house in the federal capital. The land mafia is selling out CDA land to innocent people impressing them through huge advertisements and attractive broachers.

Lack of will on the part of CDA management and absence of visible demarcation of CDA land has led to encroachment of hundreds of acres of state land in Islamabad’s rural areas. Land demarcation has had been an issue in the areas of Chattha Bakhtawar, Bani Gala, Bhara Kahu, Lakhwal, Rawal Dam, Jaba Teli, Pendorian, Rehara, Muri, Noghazi, Saknall, Jhang Syedan, Panjgran, Tarlai, Jagiot and other adjacent areas. There is a confusion about which land belongs to the state and this further encourages land grabbers, who get busy building on government land. Absence of demarcation and clear identification marks on CDA and private land in rural areas, especially on both sides of Lehtrar and Park roads is creating problems for the authorities concerned in retrieving the state land. The Land and Rehabilitation Department of the CDA is responsible to demarcate the land and that the demarcations had not been conducted since decades. The land directorate falls under the administrative control of the member estate.

Officials at the Enforcement Directorate have taken up the matter regarding the demarcation of land in rural areas a number of times but the land department was least bothered to the same, suggest a number of correspondence on part of the enforcement directorate.

Meanwhile, CDA management has decided to ban the entry of unauthorised persons in the land and estate departments of CDA. The decision has been taken to discourage the involvement of mafia who pressurises CDA staff and the general public visiting these offices for vested interests. According to the sources, the CDA management has passed orders in this regard.

Furthermore, CDA employees not directly concerned with land and estate issues have also been asked not to visit these offices unduly and without official business in dealing hours. In this regard, CDA Magistrate and Security Directorate have been asked to carry out random and surprise monitoring of these offices and take strict action against the irrelevant persons. The sources further said that the decision has been taken in the light of complaints received to the higher management of the CDA regarding the difficulties being faced due to undue pressure on the CDA employees and residents visiting these offices. It has been further learnt that staff of Land and Estate departments has also been directed to facilitate the visiting general public and special arrangements be made to dispose of their complaints promptly.