Inquiry into CDA land directorate’s affairs delayed
ISLAMABAD: A high-profile inquiry into the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) land directorate’s handling of plots, initiated by the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) minister in December and was to be completed within 10 days, has been delayed. CADD Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry had ordered an inquiry into dubious corrigendum based allotments of over a hundred plots in the CDA on Dec 28 last year. The inquiry was supposed to end on Jan 7, 2018, but has not been completed yet. Sources in CADD said the inquiry, which is being carried out by Joint Secretary Tariq Moj, has yet to make serious progress. However, Dr Chaudhry said the inquiry was delayed for administrative reasons, including the change of the CADD secretary. He added that he was following the inquiry and that he thought the report would be completed within a week. The inquiry officer is also looking into plot allotments made in violation of the rules after a ban on allotments was lifted. Committee is looking into corrigendum-based allotments as well as those made in violation of rules Former CDA chairman Sheikh Anser Aziz had suspended two land directorate deputationist officials – Land Director Irfanullah Khan and Deputy Director Rana Farhan – for over a hundred corrigendum-based allotments after August 2017. Mr Aziz had also announced the cancellation of all corrigendum-based allotments made in aforementioned period, and directed that a fact-finding inquiry be conducted into the matter. But sources in the authority said that neither the cancellation of the allotments nor the inquiry could be initiated because Mr Aziz was removed as chairman on Dec 29 by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). An inquiry is being conducted into the alleged scandal by CADD. A directive from the CADD minister from Dec 28, 2017, quoted him as saying: “Earlier, on receipt of complaints from public, I imposed ban on allotments of plots on 16-05-2016. After prolonged demands & protest of affectees against this ban, the same was lifted on 12-05-2017, however, I personally observed that affectees have not been benefited at all, therefore, an inquiry needs to be carried out.” Last August, the land directorate allotted plots to various people in the high valued I-11 sector and lower valued I-12 sector in balloting without following any policy. Six plots in F-11/4 were also transferred to F-11/1 and F-11/2. The price of a plot in F-11/4 is around Rs7 million, whereas a similar sized plot in F-11/1 or 2 is worth Rs15m. In addition, over a hundred plots were allotted through corrigendum – a method through which plots are shifted from one site to another due to issues with the physical possession of the land or with the allotment letters – allegedly to benefit specific individuals. Inquiry into allotments in C-15, C-16 An inquiry into the allotment of preferred plots in C-15 and C-16 that began in 2016 has yet to be completed, for reasons best known to CDA officials. Sources said that the inquiry had found that several influential people had preferred plots allotted in their names in connivance with CDA’s information technology directorate. CDA officials even claimed that a senior authority official who had played a leading role in the development of C-15 had dozens of plots allotted in the names of front men. The inquiry report has yet to be completed. Sources said that former and current CDA officers last month conveyed to the inquiry committee not to probe the matter further. Salman Warraich, a former CDA member administration who was removed from the post in December 2016 for various reasons, has also claimed that he was removed because he was supervising the C-15 and C-16 inquiry. Located at the foothills of the Margallas, C-15 is spread over 4,000 kanals that were acquired according to the ¼ formula, under which the CDA gives landowners one developed plot in exchange for four undeveloped ones. CDA officers said several bureaucrats within and outside the authority bought land from the CDA through property dealers and were given preferred plots, making millions in the process. Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2018