Land for road to Bahria Enclave: Official causes Rs5bn loss to CDA

Bahria Town

Bahria Town (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISLAMABAD, May 28: An inquiry has held the director general of the CDA planning division responsible for causing a loss of over Rs5 billion to the civic agency by allowing Bahria Town to use 110 kanals of land for the construction of a link road to Bahria Enclave without paying compensation.

According to the inquiry report, available with Dawn, Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu, the planning wing chief, deleted a clause from a letter which had asked Bahria Town to allocate an alternative land of an equal size in the same area.

An official of the CDA on the condition of anonymity said the letter was written by the planning wing director housing societies on Jan 30, 2012, and addressed to the general manager (planning and design) of Bahria Town.

The chairman CDA, Syed Tahir Shahbaz, when contacted by Dawn, added: “I had ordered the inquiry last month mainly on the directions of a judicial commission formed by Islamabad High Court.”

“We will submit the inquiry report to the IHC on June 28 as ordered by the court,” he added.

An official in the authority added that on October 12, 2011, Bahria Town sought permission for construction of a 1.53-km-long road in Mouza Kuri to get an access to its housing society, Bahria Enclave, in Zone-IV.
The housing society was launched in July 2011. He said the entire area of Mouza Kurri was acquired by the CDA during the last four decades.

“The right of way to access Bahria Town was 120 feet wide and needed 110 kanals of land. The road is now completed,” said the official.

He maintained that on the demand of the civic agency, Bahria Town had in writing offered 110 kanals in the nearby Mauza.

A land directorate official added: “After a presentation given by Ghulam Sarwar Sandhu on January 2012, the CDA board approved the access route to the housing society of the Bahria Town.”

The inquiry report said: “Construction of the road would be allowed on the condition that Bahria Town will build two link roads – one 3.5km from Kuri Model Village site and the other – 1.5km – to the dumping site located close to Bahria Enclave.”

The CDA board also approved that “these roads would be the property of the civic agency which shall also possess their right of way.”

Secondly, the land used in the construction of the roads was to be compensated by the Bahria Town.

But, according to the official, the planning wing dropped one of the two conditions under which Bahria Town was to compensate the CDA for the 110 kanals.

The report said on Jan 30, 2012, the planning wing director general wrote a note to the members of the CDA board, then headed by Farkhand Iqbal, stating: “It is submitted that earlier the proposal for land compensation was for a stretch of 1.5km and now it has been decided to ask Bahria Town to construct an additional 3.5 km-long-road though Kuri Model Village.”

The director general had also noted, according to the inquiry report, that if the compensation was asked by the CDA (against the allotted 110 kanal area), the road would not remain a thoroughfare and its ownership would be claimed by Bahria Town anytime.