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Impossible to develop plots so soon, scream DHA plot owners

LAHORE: Owners of plots in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) are concerned over the orders of the DHA administration to develop plots before 2009, and they believe that constructing houses or buildings on vacant plots in such a short period is impossible, Daily Times learn on Friday.

Plot owners were asked to construct structures on all plots situated in Phases I, II and III by January 2009, otherwise every residential plot owner would be fined Rs 50,000 and every commercial plot owner Rs 100,000. Notices in this regard were issued last month.

However, sources within the DHA administration said that the authority had received a number of complaints and requests from the plot owners to cancel the orders. They said that most of the plot owners had also requested the administration to extend the deadline.

Dr Sohail, owner of a plot, told Daily Times that his mother owned two plots in the DHA, and his family was living in the US. “We come to Pakistan only for a few weeks during vacations. The deadline will create problems for us. It is not possible to construct structures on the plots this year because we have already spent most of our leaves in Pakistan, and will be leaving for the US in a few days,” he said.

He said that the authorities should not force plot owners to start building, as it was their personal property. “We are thinking about paying the fine instead of wasting millions of rupees on the discretion of contractors,” he said. “Our employees are looking after the plots and keeping them clean of shrubs and garbage.”

Jawad Bashir, owner of a house in Sector-N, said that his father owned a plot in DHA Phase-II, but was living in the UK. He said that his family neither had the time, nor the funds to construct on the plot. He said that he had already requested the authorities to extend the deadline because he himself was busy in his studies.

He said that his family was passing through a financial crisis, and it was difficult for them to build a house in the near future. He said that the deadline was also irritating them. “It is our property and we should be given the right to develop it when we feel like. The authorities should at least think about extending the deadline to give relief to plot owners,” he said.

Rana Arshad, a property dealer in the DHA, said that a number of people had bought plots in the housing society just to sell them at higher rates in the future. “It is the owner’s legal right to keep his property according to his own will unless no one is affected by it. Most plots in the DHA do not pose any threat to neighbours,” he said.

Members given enough time: DHA spokesperson Tajamul Hussain told Daily Times that the authority had made the decision for the betterment of all members of the society. He said that there was no chance of extension in the deadline. “People talk about price hike of construction material and lack of time to build their plots, but the authority has already given them enough time to cope with such issues,” he said. He said that the fate of people not building the plots within the given timeframe would be decided afterwards. However, he said that the authority reserved the right to fine violators further if they failed to abide by the rules.

Source: Daily times

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