As the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Islamabad Administration are flexing their muscles to launch an operation against an old slum in Sector I-11, none of the dwellers is ready to leave the area.
Notices have been served upon the inhabitants of the slum, last month to vacate their huts to the operation, which is expected to kick off during the next couple of weeks.
However, the CDA sources said that so far none of families have vacated the slum, which was established over 30 years back, but could not be demolished due to lack of any action and planning on part of the civic body and Islamabad administration.
The deadline set for vacation of the slum, later was extended till January 5.
It has been learnt that Islamabad chief commissioner will chair at meeting at his office on Friday (January 4) to decide future plan of action. “We are trying our best to avoid any operation so that the inhabitants of the slum will move to other places voluntarily and vacate the area,” a senior officer of CDA told ‘The News’ on Wednesday. As a pressure tactic, the CDA had already moved heavy machinery along with the enforcement personnel to the area. “Our staff is also monitoring movement of residents of the slum and we have been told that they started shifting their valuable goods from the slum,” the CDA officer said.
The CDA officer said that most of the families could afford to hire houses in Rawalpindi or in some areas of Islamabad and in this way, they can also improve their living conditions instead of sticking to their slum huts.
According to data collected through a survey, nearly 8,000 people are residing in the slum. Majority of them hail from Mohmand Agency, Khyber Agency, Bajour and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa while some of them are Afghan refugees and those belonging to different parts of Punjab.
CDA member Estate had already written a letter to KP chief secretary to make arrangements to accommodate families to be displaced from I-11 slum.
A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Sunlight for Human Development Network, which is working in the area has demanded of CDA and other concerned government departments to compensate families that are being asked to vacate the area.
NGO’s focal person Nazia Iftikhar said that the slum was established in 1970s, therefore, the poor families should get proper compensation particularly from CDA.