close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
May 8, 2019

‘Unauthorised’ CDA board approves land for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme

National

May 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: For the first time in history of Islamabad, the government will build a housing scheme in Mauve Area of the capital city.

The allocation of billions of rupees land for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme has been approved by CDA board, which is not even authorised to take such a major policy decision, as the composition of current board is not in line with the CDA ordinance and IHC verdict.

The board gave approval of land allocation for this project just a day before the inauguration of the project. Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated Naya Pakistan Housing Programme on April 17 whereas the board meeting was convened just a day before the inauguration (April 16, 2019). The only purpose of this meeting was to approve the land allocation for this housing project.

Besides ignoring the IHC verdict, the board has also violated the master plan of ICT by giving approval of building a housing scheme in Mauve Area of the capital city. The Mauve Area is specified for government offices in the capital city and there is not a single housing unit built in any Mauve Area of Islamabad. However, the CDA board, which is not empowered to take such a major policy decision has given approval of changing the master plan of ICT.

According to CDA chairman, the CDA ordinance defines only three members including Member Finance, Member Admin and Chairman of the board. As per the minutes of the board meeting, total six officials attended the meeting out of which four have acting charge including Member Admin and CDA chairman. Whereas, Member Finance was not present in the board meeting. This raises question whether majority of the board members having acting charge can take any major policy decision.

The board’s decision is also a violation of the SC verdict according to which any official with the acting charge cannot take any major policy decision. However, the CDA board in violation of the SC verdict approved two major policy decisions.

It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Commissioner Islamabad has the additional charge of CDA chairman. According to Islamabad High Court judgment, civil servants cannot be appointed Chairman and members of CDA. However, the previous government instead of challenging the verdict introduced an amendment to CDA ordinance to appoint civil servants only on the post of chairman or member finance. The then federal cabinet led by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved the amendment and a presidential ordinance was promulgated. The ordinance was extended for another 120 days in May 2018 which finally expired in September 2018, which means the IHC judgment attained the finality.

The current decision of approving 7 acres of land allocation for NPHP in Mauve Area raises question that how the civic body’s board, which is not authorized, can give approval of such a major policy decision. Not only this, the board has also given approval of awarding 508kanal land near Askari-VI to FGEHF for the NPHP. The sources in CDA said both the decisions are illegal as the existing board is not empowered to approve this plan.

When contacted Chief Commissioner, Islamabad, who also has Additional charge of CDA chairman, Amir Ahmed Ali said the CDA board is fully authorised to take this decision. He said he has additional charge not acting charge of chairman. The IHC verdict is about acting charge, hence he has no restriction to take any policy decision related to CDA.

He said the master plan of CDA has been amended many times. The federal cabinet is the competent authority to amend the master plan of CDA and if the cabinet has given approval of allocating land for NPHP, the CDA cannot reject it.

“In CDA ordinance there are only three members defined, which include member admin, member finance and chairman of the board. Chief Commissioner is by default the member of CDA board,” said the CDA chairman.

According to the minutes of the board meeting, “In pursuance to the Cabinet decision on the summary of the Ministry of Housing and Works, undertaken in case No.374/15/2019 dated 09.04.2019 vide DG (FGEHF) U.O.No:55(DT.Com)/ 2006-HF, dated 12th April 2019, the Director General FGEHF M/O Housing & Works upon invitation as special guest briefed the CDA board regarding “Change in land use of the Mauve Area of Sector G-13 and G-14 Islamabad by the FGEHF” as per which 7 acres of land in the Mauve Area of G-13 and G-14 has been approved to be utilised for ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP)’ subject to the clearance of the CDA board etc. However, when asked he informed that currently they have plans for only 7 acres of the site for the NPHP which is to be inaugurated by the PM and is covered in terms of decision of the cabinet. It was also informed that G-13 and G-14 have not been acquired by the CDA rather the FGEHF has directly acquired them through ICT under Land Acquisition Act. The title of the entire property in question vests with FGEHF. The member engineering CDA at the time of vetting of draft minutes recorded that ‘implementation of approved master plan may be ensured please’, however the same was not discussed during the course of discussion”.

“The federal cabinet being the final authority with regard to any changes in the master plan of Islamabad, and/or amendments has already decided the matter. The CDA board realising the forthcoming inauguration by the prime minister of Pakistan on 17th April 2019, for social housing scheme has primarily endorsed the decision of the cabinet with regard to 7 acres for which title already vests with FGEHF. Since land in question is directly acquired by FGEHF therefore, no compensation is payable to CDA. The said 7 acres of land will be used for the residential scheme as envisaged above. As regards the rest of the requests regarding entire Mauve Area for usage other than the purpose of the NPHP, the DG was advised to place a detailed proposal through Ministry of Housing and Works for consideration by CDA board separately,” read the minutes of the meeting.

The board also discussed the mutation of 508 kanals of CDA land in favour of FGEHF for Naya Pakistan Housing Programme. “In pursuance to the Cabinet decision on the summary of the Ministry of Housing & Works undertaken in case No 375/15/2019, dated 09-04-2019 intimated vide DG (FGEHF), U.O.No 1(1)-NPHP/JVP(SL)-2019, dated 12th April, the Director General (FGEHF), M/O Housing and Works upon invitation as special guest briefed the CDA board regarding aforementioned decision of the Cabinet, as per which ‘Mutation of 508 kanals of CDA land located next to Askari-VI in Mauza Chaklala in favour of FGEHF for ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP).”

According to minutes of the meeting, “The cabinet decision, in terms of CDA ordinance 1960 being conclusive. However, the amount of compensation/premium as mentioned in the cabinet decision needs to be determined by CDA as per prevailing rules and procedures. The payable amount in lieu thereof shall be intimated for transfer of said premium by FGEHF in CDA account, so that formal mutation of CDA’s land may be calculated, formally by CDA board.”

The change in master plan of the capital city requires approval of CDA board and federal cabinet. This decision of changing masterplan of the capital city was taken just a day before the inauguration of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) by the CDA board which was not even authorised to approve any such policy decision.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority Ali Nawaz Awan while talking to The News said, the decision of changing the master plan of capital city was taken by the federal cabinet, which is the competent authority to take any such policy decision.

“The CDA chairman has not given the approval of allocation of land for this project but the entire board approved the summary. Building a housing society in Mauve Area requires approval from highest level, which is federal cabinet. There is no irregularity or illegality in this decision”, commented Mr Awan.

“When asked whether it is not a violation of IHC verdict as the CDA chairman and member admin have acting charge whereas member finance was not present in the board meeting despite the fact the CDA ordinance defines these three members as board. Mr Awan said he has no knowledge about this, however, the board is fully empowered to take any policy decision. If there is any restriction, send the particular rules to me,” commented Mr Awan.

He said the government is working to streamline the system and the process of appointing CDA chairman has been initiated. The post of CDA chairman will be advertised soon and the government will implement the IHC verdict in letter and spirit, said Mr Awan.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus