PHAF VS. CDA: Residential Plots conversion conflict

In the latest episode of an intense saga of converting amenity areas into residential plots.

Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation (PHAF) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have come face to face as CDA has decided to deny PHAF permission to convert its amenity plots to residential plots in PHA Officers Residencia Housing Scheme, Kuri Road, Islamabad.

According to the letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, the PHAF in December 2017, through federal ombudsman secretariat, submitted a proposal to CDA seeking permission to create about 40 additional plots in the Green Areas and Open Areas of PHAF Officers Residencia in Islamabad.

The proposal was rejected on the basis that the land was reserved for playgrounds and parks and other public/community welfare purposes in the original layout plan by CDA, which was approved a decade ago.

It is pertinent to mention here that PHA Officers Residencia Housing Scheme was launched in August 2007 for government servants.  Initially, the project was to complete in three years but could not move ahead in a smooth manner.

“To the utmost dismay and chagrin of the allottees, so far less than 50 per cent of the construction work has been completed even after a lapse of 11 years. The creation and allotment of new plots after almost 11 years of the initial launch would be a gross injustice and an affront perpetrated to earlier allottees,” the letter read.

It was also learnt that the said housing society had not obtained the No Objection Certificate (NOC). Originally, 19 per cent of the land was allocated to green areas, and now the PHAF wants to reduce the percentage of land to 15 per cent.

Furthermore, the unlawful proposal of the PHA Foundation, being in violation of already approved plan, was not agreed by the CDA in the past. After the failure to convince the authorities at the civic agency, the PHAF went to the federal ombudsman in December last year.

The committee termed the complaint filed by the foundation to the ombudsman a ‘blatant infringement of the mandate of the federal ombudsman and defiance of the laid down procedure and rules of business’. The committee also expressed hope that it would be rejected by the ombudsman soon.

The CDA has also decided to defend its earlier decision, and not allow permission for additional plots before the ombudsman and/or other forums.

The letter also said that the only motive behind PHAF proposal for creating additional plots in green/open areas was to accommodate some favourites and illegally earn millions of rupees by selling newly created plots to unscrupulous property dealers. It added that the CDA should not become a party in PHA Foundation’s nefarious designs.

“Dishonest creation of new plots and their fraudulent allotment is tantamount to corruption and it would continue to haunt the culprits for a long time,” it further said.

The committee also requested not to allow PHAF creation of additional plots in the said scheme because it was a blatant violation of the CDA approved layout plan and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) issued by Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PAK-EPA).

It would also bring embarrassment to the CDA’s top management and provide impetus to other private housing societies/colonies mushrooming in different zones to convert their green/open areas into residential plots and sell them on lucrative prices in the market.

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