Two more sectors in CDA wish list

ISLAMABAD, July 9: Though the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has failed to complete the residential schemes of D-12 and Park Enclave even after over two decades, it is going to open two new sectors.

The authority’s chairman, Farkhand Iqbal, has decided to start work on sectors C-14 and C-15 close to Margallah Hills in two months time.

Planned in 1988 and inaugurated by three prime ministers, the development of Sector D-12 still remains incomplete.

Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had inaugurated the sector for the third time in January last year. Earlier, it was also inaugurated by former prime ministers Shaukat Aziz and Benazir Bhutto.

The elite sector has yet to have the layout of the residential scheme approved by the planning division.

Talking to Dawn, the CDA chairman said: “Residential sector D-12 is 80 per cent complete and a number of houses are under-construction there. Now we are set to announce the residential sectors of C-14 and C-15.”

However, when asked why there was a need for the new residential sectors when the CDA’s financial and housing development credibility was already being questioned due to its failure to begin work on Park Enclave, he claimed: “First, Park Enclave was launched before I took over the charge of the CDA. Second, we have already begun construction at the site. Have you been there? The machines are already up and running.”

In February this year, Chairman Iqbal, local PPP worker Faisal Sakhi Butt and a number of CDA officers had to run from the launching ceremony of Park Enclave when villagers from Kurri ransacked the venue.

The villagers were demanding compensation for their land since a substantial part of Park Enclave is still in adverse possession.  According to Chairman Iqbal, sectors C-14 and C-15 are located on the right side of the planned Margallah Avenue and being constructed on Punjab government’s land.

“If you start moving towards G.T. Road, this sector will be at the base of Margallah Avenue, on the left side when coming from Peshawar,” he added.

When asked whether the sector would be reopened for residents within a given time frame since the land might not be under the CDA possession, Mr Iqbal claimed that it was a vacant land and the civic agency would ensure its completion. “We will start the allotment in two months time.”

Still, one source added that the CDA was planning to sign a joint venture with a private firm, raising concerns about the future transparency of the project.

The source added that the controversial Margallah Avenue, also located along the future residential sectors, was being developed to support the big fish holding land along the area.“The big land owners, who have recently purchased the land alongside these areas, are planning to establish petrol pumps, CNG stations, and commercial areas in this sector,” said the source.

The chairman, however, insisted: “C-14 and C-15 will be among the most beautiful residential sectors of the capital city because of the greenery and mountains at one side of the sector.”