RAWALPINDI, May 18: Twenty-five years after a cooperative housing society was launched in Rawalpindi, allotment of plots to the applicants still remains a dream as the project is rocked by financial irregularities and the authorities concerned remain oblivious to the suffering of the investors.
The Abad Cooperative Housing Society at Adiala Road was launched in the year 1987 under the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act 1925. The society started work in the office of Agency for Barani Areas Development (Abad), and according to its by-laws, Director General Abad would be the ex-officio president and officials from other government departments concerned would run its affairs.But as the project remained incomplete, inquiries conducted by the office of the registrar cooperatives Punjab and local departments have detected financial irregularities worth Rs1.12 billion in the society. The inquiries blamed the management committee for misusing the amount deposited by the plot seekers.
According to documents available with Dawn, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been grilling members of the management committee for allegedly misusing the money meant for development of the housing project. Aman Khan had applied for a plot in the housing society in 1988 when he was 36 years of age but now even after depositing Rs320,000 he still awaits to get the plot to construct his dream house.
The reports of financial irregularities in the project have created rifts in the management committee leading to a police case.
Secretary of the housing society Mohammad Tufail was accused of drawing money from its joint account without the signatures of the president and treasurer.
“The secretary has illegally transferred Rs600,000 from the joint account without the signatures of the president and treasurer.
It is public money and we will not tolerate this,” the president of the society, Chaudhary Abdul Hafeez and treasurer Lt-Commander (retired) Saeedullah Khan stated in their complaint to the Saddar Berooni police.
But the investors, who think that one day they would get their plots developed, continue to invest in the housing project without knowing that the management that had asked them to deposit the development charges and was supposed to improve the layout of the society has taken the matter to the police.
The NOC for the housing society, spreading over 2,600 kanals, was issued by Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA).
However, the civic agency has not yet directed the management to complete the housing project. “Yes it is the fault of the authorities that they do not keep check on housing projects and ultimately the plot seekers have to bear the brunt of financial losses. In my tenure, I have not given the go-ahead to any private developer,” Director General RDA Naseer Ahmed told Dawn.
He said the Cooperatives Department should penalise such societies that had not yet completed the housing schemes and continued to exploit small investors