ISLAMABAD, March 18: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Friday directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to reclaim land in Sector G-12 Islamabad and Sector F-12 Islamabad.

“CDA should check increasing illegal occupation of land in both the sectors,” said the chairman of the committee Dewan Ashiq Hussain.

The committee was reviewing the two-decade performance of the CDA.

The CDA team, headed by its acting chairman, gave a detailed briefing to the committee’s members about Islamabad and its uplift schemes.

The authority’s member (planning), Tahir Shamshad, said hundreds of people had illegally purchased land from the locals in sectors G-12 and F-12 as, following the announcement of land award, purchase of land in the two sectors has been banned “The authority had acquired the land in 1985, but the owners were not satisfied with the price so some of them did not accept the payment,” the official said.

It has been learnt that more than 6,000 housing units have been constructed illegally in the two sectors right under the nose of the CDA, which could be gauged from the fact that no effective attempt has been made to stop them from doing this practice.Supreme Court has recently given a gigantic task to the CDA to get state land in the federal capital vacated from illegal possession including the two sectors.

Following the orders of the apex court the CDA has given a seven-day deadline to all land encroachers on Wednesday and installed banners inscribed with the warning in all the troubled areas.

However, critics believed that the authority would not be able to meet the gigantic task of clearing over 20,000 acres of state land from encroachers.

Keeping in view the government decision to open new sectors in Islamabad the CDA is focusing on G-12 and F-12.

“We would utilise our energies on the development of new sectors in the next fiscal year as this is the basic responsibility of any development authority,” the member planning said.

It has been observed that influential people have purchased land in bulks in the proposed sectors of F-12 and G-12 so that they could claim heavy compensation at the time of award of land to be announced by the CDA.

The standing committee was apprised that the CDA had decided to engage private sector companies for the acquisition of land in sectors G-12 and F-12 that has now become an uphill task for the authority.

The authority is going to engage some private company to get the land of the sector acquired from the landowners, who had earlier declined to accept the award announced by the CDA.

The committee was informed that the civic body requires at least Rs40 billion to pay the people for their land as well as built-up property.

On the other hand some real estate experts said the authority could meet expenses by selling only commercial plots in the two sectors.

Following the briefing the committee said it would wait for the return of CDA Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi from abroad to take decision regarding
uplift of Islamabad and development of stalled sectors.

The committee expressed concern over hike in rents in Islamabad, security arrangements for the parliamentarians and parliament lodges.

The committee emphasised the need for the construction of a tunnel between parliament building and parliament lodges to ensure safe movement.