Another Land Allotment Scam Hits CDA

Dawn

ISLAMABAD: A month after the scam of backdated plot allotment hit the Capital Development Authority (CDA), another scandal involving allotment of 59 residential plots in D-13 has surfaced.

According to sources, Member Estate Khushal Khan had directed the land directorate on Sept 17 to allot plots to the affected people, whose land had been acquired in D-13, through balloting.

However, despite his orders, the land directorate allotted the plots without conducting balloting.

CDA’s 2017 standard operating procedure (SOP) prepared by the then chairman of the civic authority, clearly stated: “After principle approval of case from member estate, plots will be allotted through manual open balloting in the presence of two members of CDA board. Date of balloting will be advertised in at least three leading newspapers.” However, in the case of D-13, the land directorate skipped the balloting process.

SOP not followed while allotting 59 plots to affected people in D-13

Sources said most of the corner plots and plots located at best places in the sector were allotted. Copies of some allotment letters issued on October 21 are available with Dawn.

According to the documents, Member Estate Khushal Khan, in his noting mentioned on the file of said plots, stated: “Subject to fulfillment of all formalities and affidavit from landowners that there is no Built Up Property (BuP) on the land we have acquired land.”

Meanwhile, in [Para 200], the member categorically stated that all the plots be allotted through transparent balloting.

The sources said no advertisement was made, no balloting was held and in glare violation of the SOP and directive of the member, the land directorate allotted 59 plots in D-13.

D-13 is a land-sharing sector where CDA is supposed to provide one kanal developed plot to each of the affected persons against four kanals.

Talking to Dawn, an official of the land directorate confirmed that the plots had been allotted in the last few days. He, however, claimed that the allottees had provisional letters with plot numbers, and in light of the provisional letters, confirmed allotment letters were issued.

“Since we issued the confirmation letters in light of the provisional letters, there was no need of balloting,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source in the revenue directorate said usually a provisional letter did not bear the plot number. It only means that the CDA had acquired the land and the allottee is supposed to get the plot after due procedure.

“If the provisional letter carries the plot number then what makes it different from the confirmation letter,” he said, casting doubt on the land directorate’s claim that provisional letters carried allotment numbers.

“First of all, I don’t believe that provisional letters are issued with allotment numbers, but even if they are, this matter also warrants inquiry,” he said.

CDA officials told Dawn that it was the responsibility of the civic agency to start the process of plot allotment in a transparent manner in the sector as people had been waiting for years for their plots. They said the CDA had acquired the land in the sector in 2008, but had failed to allot the plots to the affected people, let alone develop the sector.

Last month, a scandal of backdated allotment of plots in various sectors such as I-11, 1-10, Margalla Town and 1-14 surfaced and on the directive of the CDA chairman, a fact-finding inquiry was held.

Sources said in the fact-finding report it transpired that a large number of plots in the sectors were allotted dubiously with chances of backdated allotment of plots.

They said the fact-finding report called for a proper inquiry into the scam. However, the high-ups of the authority have yet to pass an order for a full-fledged inquiry.

In this scam, CDA officials alleged that in light of the SOP, it was decided that all plots would be allotted through balloting.

“The fact-finding report has pointed out serious irregularities and recommended a formal inquiry into the backdated allotment of plots, so we are looking towards the high-ups to order constitution of an inquiry committee,” said an official of the Human Resource Department of the civic agency.

When contacted, Member Estate Khushal Khan said disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against those officials who, despite his written directive, allotted plots in D-13 without conducting balloting.

“I am surprised, how could the land directorate allot plots without following the SOP. I will take action against all those involved in the allotment without balloting in D-13,” he said.

“Such provisional letters have no worth. Our policy and my standing directive is very clear that no plot can be allotted without balloting,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a late night development, member estate and the CDA chairman Amer Ali Ahmed suspended director land Fariduddin for his alleged involvement in allotment of plots without balloting in D-13.

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