CDA urged to address Margalla Retreat issues

ISLAMABAD – Capital Development Authority (CDA) is likely to lose its credibility amongst the residents of the capital as many of the new residential schemes it has launched with high claims are proving non-starters.

Two high profile projects like Park Enclave and Margalla Retreat are a point in case.

Park Enclave was launched with very tall claims and it was promised by CDA that the applicants would be handed over their plots within two years after developing the site.

More than 600 people applied for the plots. CDA has collected close to 2 billion Rupees from the applicants till now.

But the development work has achieved very slow progress after passing of more than a year from the date of launch of the project.

The CDA in September 2011 launched Margalla Retreat in E-11. Known as ‘Northern Strip’, it started as a joint venture between CDA and a private construction company.

The joint venture was challenged in the Supreme Court, which held that under CDA rules it could not enter into any agreement with a private party for marketing of land and that the private company should be paid its dues after settlement.

Now, the Affectees and Allotees Association of Margalla Retreat have urged new chairman of the CDA to take urgent measures for handing over possession of plots to the applicants of ‘Margalla Retreat E-11’ who are suffering since last one year.

The association, formed about two months back, met here on Thursday and expressed dissatisfaction over delay in the process of possession of plots to the applicants.

The association, through a press release issued here, said that there are a total of 58 applicants who made this decision to respond to CDA’s advertisement for allotment of plots in the said scheme.

These include some respected professionals and business people who were looking to build houses in Islamabad for a decent living. This was the first time that Capital Development Authority had offered residential plots to the potential customers at market rate and with 40 per cent advance payment.

Given that the advertisements by CDA promised that the sector was already developed, applicants deposited Rupees 7.2 million each in the month of September 2011.

They hoped that CDA would be able to quickly complete the process of balloting and allotment of plots and genuine buyers, who wanted to construct their homes, would start construction soon.

It has been nine months since September 2011 and during this period only once CDA has contacted the applicants through a letter intimating them that their applications were under process.In January 2012, CDA announced through newspaper advertisement that it was going to go ahead with balloting and applicants were also invited to witness the process. But the balloting process was cancelled on the day it was to be conducted.

Later, it was learnt that CDA was stopped through an injunction by Islamabad High Court. So far CDA has failed to get these stays vacated.

Since then people have been waiting but CDA has been ignorant of their plight. The affectees include many retired government officials, professionals and widows who have deposited their lifelong savings in Margalla Retreat E 11, in the belief that CDA will at least not keep them waiting for months in a scheme that was already developed.