Land to Bahria Town: TI Pakistan resents CDA’s silence on allotment

Bahria Town

Bahria Town (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Transparency International Pakistan has regretted that Capital Development Authority (CDA) has not yet responded to its letter of July 21, 2012 seeking clarification regarding CDA’s allotment of 600 kanal land to Bahria Town.

Adviser, Transparency International Pakistan Syed Adil Gilani in a letter sent to Farkhand Iqbal, Chairman, Capital Development Authority, Islamabad on September 15 estimated loss of billions of rupees revenue to the exchequer as a result of allegation of collusive practice in the award of 600 kanal land to Bahria Town and reports that CDA is trying to award Rs 51 billion contract for building 6,000 flats in sector I-15, Islamabad, without inviting public tenders to a Chinese company, China Railway First Group (CRFG), in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules.

Adil Gilani said if the report is correct, then CDA is committing the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under NBA NAO 1999 Section 9 – (vi), which reads: if he misuses his authority so as to gain any benefit or favour for himself or any other person, or renders or attempts to render or willfully fails to exercise his authority to prevent the grant, or rendition of any undue benefit or favour which he could have prevented by exercising his authority.

On a similar failed effort to award a contract to another Chinese company based on MoU, by Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Court on August 23, 2012 had declared the Rs 21 billion Safe City Project, Islamabad and Peshawar as illegal and invalid, and having been executed in violation of the mandatory provisions of the Public Procurement Rules, 2004. The court had directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to ensure initiation of appropriate proceedings in the matter in accordance with the law.

CDA, Adil Gilani said may confirm above information, and if it is true, Transparency International Pakistan requested CDA to refrain from committing illegal acts of allotting 600 kanal plot to a builder, and awarding a Rs 51 billion contract to a Chinese contractor. Transparency International Pakistan is striving for across the board application of Rule of Law, which is the only way to stop corruption, he said.  Continue reading

For Islooites, a new housing community

ISLAMABAD: 

With Spanish and Portuguese architectural designs, imported electrical and sanitary fittings, ironmongery for doors and design-fitted kitchens, Alma Townhomes offer dream homes for those wanting to invest in real estate.

The second phase of the housing project, that was opened for buyers by international real estate developer Emaar on Saturday, saw a large number of potential home owners from twin cities showing up. The two-day event is being held at a sales centre inside Emaar’s 400-acre gated community — Canyon Views.

Situated on the Islamabad Highway near the Grand Trunk Road (DHA Phase-II Extension), the Alma houses target a major segment in the housing market – end users who are looking for an “affordable” house in a safe and sustainable community, according to Emaar Pakistan Head of Development and Projects Shairyar Salim. The company has completed the first phase, which is fully occupied.

The earthquake-resistant housing units, which occupy eight to 12 marlas and have three to four bedrooms, start with a price of Rs14 million, which is slightly high compared to Bahria Town’s Safari Villas and Defence Housing Authority (DHA). A 10-marla house Safari Villas and DHA cost Rs12 million and Rs11.5 million on average respectively, according to a Rawalpindi-based real estate agent Waseem Kiyani.

He said that a ready-made house on 10 marlas in Bahria Enclave can cost around Rs15 million with a one-year payment plan.

Facilities at these housing projects seem comparable, although Salim believes Emaar’s designs are more “advanced”, as they draw on the developer’s experience of making international housing projects.

The Alma Townhomes might also have a superior security apparatus. The integrated community has a three-tier security plan which includes two outer boundary walls and a security patrol on the streets.

“With Emaar, you’re confident that your money will not go down the drain,” said Asif Akhtar, a resident of the Alma Townhomes Phase-I who works for the Army Welfare Trust.

“They deliver on their promises, and their quality of construction and services are simply amazing,” he added. Continue reading