ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) announced the launch of the costly Park Avenue project to pave the way for Bahria Town to successfully market its own similar scheme, CDA sources told The Express Tribune.

The sources said that the Park Enclave scheme, considered one of the costliest housing projects in the history of the CDA, was announced under a pre-planned strategy. It was essentially a marketing tool for Bahria Town, as the latter managed to publish advertisements offering similar plots at half the price the very next day. Ultimately, the CDA project will flop and Bahria Town will be able to successfully sell their plots due to the price difference, the sources maintained.

It was learnt that some politicians and CDA officials are also involved in this game. To substantiate the claim, a senior CDA officer stated that the authority has become a silent spectator, while adding that the Bahria Town advertisement has not even gotten an NOC yet, a mandatory requirement for any housing scheme prior to its formal launch.

Unfortunately, the CDA neither informed the general public via the press about this illegal act, nor did it issue any notice to the Bahria Town management directing it to fulfill this requirement. In fact, some CDA officers are actively facilitating the Bahria Town management in obtaining an NOC and fulfilling other requirements to bail it out from any technical complication, the sources further stated.

According to the sources, Bahria Town recently announced other schemes but have not succeeded in attracting enough customers, but the Park Avenue advertisement had significantly helped it attract public attention. “The reason Park Enclave kept its prices so high was to indirectly promote Bahria Town,” said an official.

“We have clear information that senior CDA officers are playing the game in favour of Malik Riaz’s interest,” the source maintained. There is no Bahria Town land anywhere near the site specified for the Park Enclave scheme as mentioned in the advertisement, but the CDA seems to have no knowledge of this propaganda, which reeks of connivance between the two parties.

When contacted, CDA Member Planning Sarwar Sindhu admitted that Bahria Town did not have an NOC but is in the process of getting one. He skipped the question as to how a housing scheme could be launched without an NOC and approval of layout, saying that it would start work after getting the NOC. When asked as to why the CDA is not informing investors about this illegal practice, the official said that it is not the duty of the CDA to contradict people. Sindhu also expressed ignorance about any connivance of CDA officers with Bahria Town.