65 katchi abadis Ownership remains a ‘pipe dream’

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LAHORE, July 13: Dwellers of none of the 65 katchi abadis in the Punjab capital could get ownership rights since the PML-N came into power in the province three and a half years ago.

Instead, the PML-N deprived dwellers of two shanties of their shelter on the pretext of Ring Road construction by cancelling a notification issued during the previous regime declaring Nawan Pind and Rasoolpura katchi abadis.

“Most of the 65 or so shanties in Lahore have been existing for the last two decades or so and Punjab Directorate of katchi abadis has sought the revenue record from the City District Government of Lahore some five years ago so that these localities
could be regularised. Some 10 reminders have also been sent to the CDGL since then without any response,” an official told
Dawn on Wednesday.

The Musharraf regime at the fag end of his rule decided to grant legal status to these shanties and the revenue staff carried out survey to determine their boundaries. Another survey was conducted to verify credentials of occupants and duration of their occupation.

The shanties include Takkia Pir Yaqoob Shah, Tibba Baba Fareed, Harbanspura Extention, Nawan Pind at Harbanspura, Qalandarpura Extension, Rani Pind in Rahmanpura, Nawabpura, Rasoolpura, Mochipura, Basti Jewan Shah, Islampura, Dera
Abdul Hakeem, Dera Hasan Din, Dera Barkatpura, Mahtabpura, Haneef Park, Madina Town, Afzaal Park, Taj Bagh, Manzoor Colony, Guldashat Colony, Badar Colony, Altaf Colony, Ibrahim Colony, Chungi Gujjarpura, Ismaeel Town, Ittehad Town,
Fareed Garden, Habib Block, Hajvery Town, Chaudhry Colony, Do Gauge Town, Zubair Block, Usman Block, Nazeer Garden, Amir Town, Aasim Town, New Canal Park, Chandian Pind, Gowala Colony, Jalal Colony, Bilal Park, Pir Naseer and Hajipura Blocks A, B, C and D besides Jhalaran Pind.

Revenue officials of the CDGL and its subordinate department — Lahore Development Authority — have surveyed these localities and prepared lists of the residential units there several times but details were not being forwarded to the directorate for reason best known to the city government high-ups, said the official.

“Since these localities are irregular, authorities concerned have been reluctant to initiate any development works there in spite of political will. Comprising MPAs Naveed Anjum and Rana Tajammal Husain, the chief minister constituted a committee to resolve the matter. A survey was again conducted under the supervision of directorate officers and other staff. The CDGL high-ups proposed that ownership rights to the dwellers of such localities in Harbanspura be granted at the rate of Rs30,000 per marla. The elected representatives suggested Rs172 per marla rate and the matter was again put on the back burner, especially after the MPAs disassociated themselves from the committee in protest against the officialdom,” said the official.

These localities could not be included in the list of 152 or so Katchi Abadis building regulations for which were approved by the governing body of the Lahore Development Authority on Feb 2 this year.

Under the new regulations, owners of properties in these shanties were allowed to cover larger areas of their plots compared to the covered area in the LDA housing schemes after paying nominal fee for approval of building plans for new constructions.

A number of development plans like provision of potable water, sewerage, proper electricity system had either been initiated or likely to be started during the current fiscal year. However, no such provision was in sight even at planning stage for the 65 shanties, said the official.

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65 katchi abadis Ownership remains a ‘pipe dream’
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