ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Sunday retrieved around 300 kanals of land near Margalla Town-II from locals who were allegedly building a housing society.
CDA’s environment wing, along with officials from the enforcement and planning wing, launched an operation in the early hours of Sunday to the west of Margalla Town-II.
Officials from the civic agency claimed that former Inspector General Police Tahir Alam Khan and some locals had allegedly grabbed land which had been acquired by the CDA. They had subsequently started construction on a cluster of roads in a bid to launch a housing project similar to that of Bani Gala, by tampering with khasra numbers allegedly in connivance with some land revenue department officials of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
The CDA officials added that the alleged land grabbers were planning to launch the housing scheme on CDA land with plots being sold to the public at exorbitant rates.
“When CDA’s Forest Department launched an operation against the proposed housing scheme, the occupants put up stiff resistance, claiming that it was being built under the aegis of a former inspector general of police,” CDA Planning Directorate official Abdul Haq Brohi claimed, adding that CDA’s enforcement directorate had managed to successfully wrest control of the allegedly grabbed land, destroying all road networks by using heavy machinery.
“Some officers and employees of CDA’s Parks Division were also involved in this land scam and they would also be brought to book,” the CDA official added.
Contrary to claims made by CDA officials, former Islamabad IGP Khan said that the piece of land in question was owned by locals and that the link road destroyed was a 30-year-old passageway and the sole path which was used by locals.
He added that the CDA operation was in violation of stay orders from the court and was carried out without providing advance notice to the local police.
Khan explained that locals had approached a civil court against the CDA and obtained a stay order. The civic agency had also submitted a statement to the court, assuring that it would not interfere with work on the land. Further, he said that boundaries around the land, which was owned by locals, was drawn on court orders.
Moreover, he said that he too owned a small part of the land to which CDA was claiming to have acquired. “I have a small plot measuring nine marlas there and I plan to build a small house there,” IG Khan told The Express Tribune, adding that the CDA had nothing to do with the piece of land nor had it acquired the land.