ISLAMABAD - Forty-two slums in Islamabad capital territory (ICT) have been divided into four categories to launch a four-phase operation to evict illegal occupants, The Nation has learnt reliably.

This division has been made by the city administration in consultation with the law-enforcement agencies before launching the operation to regain the government land from illegal occupants.

The four categories of the slums have been described as: regularised in acquired areas (8); located in partially acquired areas (5); located in acquired areas (18); and slums in rural areas (11). Keeping in view the complexity of the task, the local police have suggested the Islamabad district administration to execute the operation in four phases.

“Keeping in view the enormity of the task, limitations imposed by the resources, possible consequences in the light of past experiences and need for timely completion of the task, the execution shall be made in four phases,” Islamabad police told the city administration and Capital Development Authority (CDA) in a letter, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Nation.

The police have also enclosed with the letter the potential sites along the city nullahs where such illegal settlements can re-emerge in future after the operation is carried out. The police have also asked the CDA to maintain strict surveillance at the sites including G-9/1, G-9/3, G-9/4, G-10, G-11, F-10 and F-11 so that the dwellers of the present illegal settlements don’t move towards there. It further recommended the CDA to allocate these open spaces for graveyard, community centre or playground so that it could not be used for illegal constructions in future.

The letter also carries a report on the illegal settlements according to which, there are 42 slums in the ICT limits — 31 in urban and 11 in rural areas.

The proposed execution of the eviction plan has been set with easier targets in ascending order. In the phase-I, the slums located at green belt I-10/3, H-10/4 (partially re-emerged), street 17 of I-10/4, F-6-1/4, behind NUST and Bari Imam as well as some other illegal settlements would be targeted.

In the second phase, the areas as Chak Shehzad (PIA), Chak Shehzad (PIA) Pona Faqiran, Dhoke Pathan-Chamber Road Abadi, Dhoke Pathan–Dhoke Pathan Sihala, Khanna Pul; New Shakrial Katchi Abadi, Shams Colony Bhangra Road Rawat, Sumbal Korak Town-Junejo Colony, Sumbal Korak Town-Mohriyan, Sumbal Korak Town-NIH Colony, and Sumbal Korak Town would be targeted. In the phase-III, the occupants of slums of Bheka Syedan F-11, G-12, F-12, E-12 behind Khushian Wali Sarkar, and I-11/2 (Bokra and Surain) would be evicted. In the phase four, illegal settlements in G-7/1, G-7/2 66 Quarters, G-7/3-2 (48 Quarters), and F-6/2 would be removed, reads the proposed execution plan.

The report compiled by the police said, “It is astonishing that CDA, WAPDA and Sui Gas authorities are providing utility services to the dwellers of these illegal Katchi Abadis.” The report continued that there are 42 slums in Islamabad at present — 31 in urban and 11 in rural areas. The slums started developing from 100-Quarter in F-6/2 and France Colony in F-7/4. These settlements are on one side a disgrace for Islamabad’s beauty while on the other side these illegal settlements are safe havens for criminals. Quite often, different NGOs, religious and political anti-government elements hire the dwellers of these slums against low wages to use them against the government in protests, strikes or rallies which creates trouble for the local administration and police, the report added.

The letter has suggested that before launching any action against these illegal settlements, the ‘active’ persons and elders of these slums be persuaded through dialogue that they must cooperate with the local administration in implementing the Islamabad High Court’s orders on slums. Furthermore, the police suggested that NADRA be directed to stop issuing CNICs to the dwellers of these slums. Similarly, it said, WAPDA, Sui Gas and CDA should be asked to withdraw utility services to these slums.

The report also feared that in case of operation against these slums in the light of IHC orders, the dwellers may move towards the banks of the nullahs. The report asked the CDA to depute teams for strict surveillance of these sites so that such illegal settlements don’t develop there in future.

On the other hand, the interior ministry has asked the CDA, ICT administration, ICT police and NADRA to use Google GPS service for locating the illegal concentration in different localities of Islamabad followed by physical verification so that exact uniform figures of slums and its dwellers are brought on the record for further action. The ministry observed that there is discrepancy in the figures of slums and their dwellers given by the CDA, ICT administration, police and NADRA.

It had proposed all the agencies to get support from Google GPS which clearly shows the slums concentration in different localities of Islamabad and this should be followed by physical verification of the individuals residing in these areas.