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20,000 acres occupied land: CDA evolves strategy for evacuation

ISLAMABAD (February 09, 2011) : Following the Supreme Court orders, Capital Development Authority (CDA) has evolved a strategy to evacuate about 20,000 acres of land being illegally occupied in different areas of the capital.

In the first phase of the operation launched in league with Civil and Police administration of Islamabad, 300 Kanals land in Malpur was evacuated, whereas the operation is on in I-11, G-12, E-12 and other areas, said Ramazan Sajid, spokesman of the CDA while talking to Business Recorder on Tuesday.

The spokesman said that the suo-moto action taken by Supreme Court of Pakistan gave strength to the CDA, as in the past people were going to courts and taking stay for their illegally occupied land. Now clear orders of apex court will help the civic body evacuate the occupied land, he added.

There are two elements occupying the land one local people and the other is outsiders including Afghan nationals who have build huge settlements in the capital, Ramazan Sajid said, adding that in the first phase, land will be evacuate from the outsiders and Afghan nationals, while in the second local settles, who have got compensation, but still not vacated the land, will be taken to task.

He said the CDA acquired huge area of land for development of the Federal Capital from 1960-63, people were paid for their land and compensation of their buildings. It was fault of the previous CDA administrations that allowed physical possession of the land despite giving away award money in 1963 against its acquisition, he added.

The settlers are not ready to vacate the land as they have continued expansion of residential areas to date and are now demanding more money and plots, he said. He said CDA took possession of the land on need basis and it could not sustain the land it had acquired from people. He said that it is third generation living on the land and they are demanding a package deal, as it was a past practice to give them more plots.

The CDA has constituted a Co-ordination Committee consisting of the representatives of CDA, ICT Administration and Islamabad Police, which will monitor the operation for evacuation and recovery of land. Ramazan Sajid said that the operation is being conducted on regular basis, especially, clearing the right side of the Kashmir Highway. He said that a comprehensive strategy in this regard has been prepared to get the remaining land vacated. He said that the CDA has decided to give a deadline to land encroachers for vacating the encroached lands of the civic authority. Advertisements are being printed in the national dailies to warn the land encroachers to vacate its land.

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