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ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco) are engaged in a blame game over land encroachment in the capital, holding each other responsible for the crisis.

The CDA is under pressure to reclaim state land from encroachers in various sectors, including G-12 and D-12, as the Supreme Court (SC) has recently ordered it to repossess 20,000 acres. Even after 25 years, the authority had failed to take possession of land for G-12, a residential sector proposed for the low income citizens.

Ramzan Sajid, CDA spokesman, termed the Iesco`s electricity connections in the encroached sectors intriguing. “We see something fishy in approvals of these connections, like the ones given in G-12.”

The spokesman said the electricity connections have given encroachers a legal cover, which has become a major concern for the authority. “Corruption can be a factor in approving large number of electricity connections in all the encroached areas,” he alleged.

Mr Sajid claimed: “The SC judgment has given us power to take action against encroachers. We are all set to launch a massive anti-encroachment operation in the city to get our land back.”

However, he added that the authority before launching the operation will ask encroachers through ads in newspapers to vacate the state land within seven days. “All the concerned agencies have been taken on board, including the Islamabad Capital Territory.”

Javed Parvez, chief executive officer of Iesco, rejected the CDA`s allegation of corruption in approving electricity connections for the houses on the encroached land in the capital. “I am amazed at the statement by a spokesman of a responsible organisation,” he said.

“We have not approved a single connection to any encroacher in the city. Every applicant for an Iesco connection is asked to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from CDA,” asserted Mr Parvez. He said for a sector like G-12 Iesco had not issued any connection without getting an NOC from the authority.

Hinting that ten years back connections may have been issued to the `residents` of G-12, he said now there is a “complete documented procedure” for getting a connection from Iesco. He said the practice of passing on Iesco connections to `neighbours` was illegal. “We are not willing to give electricity to those who are encroaching CDA`s land.”

Dawn

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