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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel has ordered disconnection of utilities for the encroached land in Sector G-14 of Islamabad.

The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Housing and Works was held at the Parliament House. Chairman Committee, Senator Haji Hidayat Ullah chaired the meeting; that was attended by Senator Saifullah Abro, Senator Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Senator Muhammad Qasim, Senator Afnan Ullah Khan, and senior officers from the Ministry of Housing and Works, the Estate Office, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) along with all concerned.

The meeting commenced with fateha being offered for the departed soul of Salar Sanjrani, brother of chairman Senate, Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrai, and the victims of the Murree catastrophe.

The committee deliberated upon the provision of amenities to illegally occupied land in G-14; Ongoing NCL Projects; Estate Office criteria for allotments; vacating illegally occupied property, and fund allocation for maintenance and whitewash of accommodations.

Deliberating over issues pertaining to illegal sites in G-14, allocated for the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) and acquired under the Land Acquisition Act; the Committee stressed the need for cutting off all utility connections, so that such activity is discouraged and work may proceed on developing the property site.

It was claimed that the main reason for allowing amenities to such sites is the political pressure by local MNAs that have been provided SDG funds in order to upgrade living standards of the local populace. Showing serious concern, a sub-committee was formulated to probe the matter in detail, which will be headed by Senator Saifullah Abro.

Reviewing details of ongoing National Construction Limited (NCL) projects, the committee was informed that currently NCL is mainly engaged with projects related to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in Islamabad, Chashma and Gilgit. Seven in number, the total value of these projects amounts to PKR 1,821.00 million.

It was revealed that currently NCL, due to numerous factors is bearing accumulated losses worth crores of rupees. In light of decisions taken by Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) and the Ministry of Housing and Works regarding NCL’s acquisition and merger with the FGEHA.

The committee was informed that all legal formalities were complete in this regard and the matter is under consideration with the Executive Board of the FGEHA for approval. Discussing details of the Estate Office’s criteria for allotments and measures being taken to vacate illegally occupied property; the committee was informed that accommodations were strictly allocated on the basis of merit.

It was asserted that as per the Supreme Court directions relaxation of rules under Rule 29A of the Accommodation Allocation Rules, 2002 will not often be exercised, except in the case of hardship. The committee was informed that 2,800 illegally occupied properties have been vacated so far.

The committee recommended that the department must look into developing high rises as opposed to single and double unit houses in order to maintain overload effectively.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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